Sitting is the new smoking for your health |

Sitting is the new smoking for your health

Many of us spend our time at work sitting in our spongy desk chairs, in front of our glowing computer screens, typing away. It’s bad for our health. In fact, a recent study showed that sitting for more than six hours each day is as unhealthy as smoking.

The workplace is a great place to start making changes that can have huge positive effects on our health. Getting 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days a week helps to improve mood and lower the risk of serious illnesses. Many employers have found that encouraging employees to get more exercise is a smart business move as well, because active employees have positive attitudes and perform better on the job.

“Business leaders have the power to implement small changes that can make a big impact on their employees,” says Pierre Onda, MD, Kaiser Permanente medical director of employer health and wellness. “Enacting a physical activity break policy gives employees license to be more active during the day and sends a message that it’s part of the company culture. When individuals feel supported and have the opportunity to incorporate healthy behaviors at work, they’re usually more productive and less likely to be absent due to illness.”


It’s easy to get active at work and even encourage your employees and co-workers to join you. Create a culture of health!

1. Take the stairs. It may seem obvious, but many of us don’t do it. Using stairs instead of the elevator can do so much for your body. It tones your legs, increases blood flow, and gets your brain working. Be smart about it, though: Hold the handrail, especially if you are wearing heels or carrying anything.

2. Take a quick recess. Remember when you were a kid and you had dedicated time for going outside and running around? Adults can follow that same line of thought. A five-minute recess is a great way to get up out of your chair and clear your head. Find a quiet corner or hallway and do some simple stretches, run in place, do pushups, or whatever exercise you like. Taking a break from your work helps improve blood flow so you can focus better.

3. Take extended time to walk around your building. Colorado has more than 300 days of sunshine each year! If your office is next to a park, try walking around it at lunch. If not, find a safe place with a sidewalk, a trail, or other pleasant location to go for a stroll.


People just getting into fitness often want to know “How much exercise is enough?” or “How do I make an exercise plan?” The FITT principle can help.

F IS FOR FREQUENCY. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends three to five days per week.

I IS FOR INTENSITY. How hard you’re exercising can be measured with the talk test. If you can talk, but not sing, during the activity, that’s a good measure of moderate exercise.

T IS FOR TIME. Work in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise weekly.

T IS FOR TYPE. Whether you walk, swim, cycle, or hike, start with something you like

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