After sitting all day at work, you hit the gym afterward for a hard hour of weights and cardio. Or maybe you swim laps for 45 minutes before picking up your kids. Perhaps you rise earlier than everyone else in your house to creep into the basement, where you put in time on your stationary bicycle. It all sounds good, right? Well, it's not — not enough, that is. If you're sitting all day and hoping to make up for it with vigorous exercise at the beginning, middle or end, you're going to come up short: on good health and on life expectancy. Yes, life expectancy.
The most recent studies lay it out pretty clearly: if you're sitting all day, without breaks to get up and stretch, walk, just get up and move — and even if you put in that committed hour or so of exercise — you're doing more harm than good.
Don't despair — and don't quit your vigorous exercise routine, either. What we want you to do is add in some simple things to your work day to get your rear off the chair.
Adding it on adds up
Set the timer on your smartphone to go off every hour. And when it does, get up. Walk the halls. Take the stairs. Do some yoga stretches in an enclosed area or empty conference room. Go visit a colleague instead of responding via email. Walk outside just to get some air. Walk at lunch. Get a walking buddy. Stand more. Wiggle your toes. Shake your hips. Whatever you can to move more, do. On the way into work, skip the elevator and take the stairs. Park farther away from your office entrance. If you take public transportation to or from work, stand, don't sit.
Use your imagination — but make sure it's when you're standing up and moving around.
* Available for members who work in companies with 51 or more employees.