The Importance of Healthy Physical Activity During a Sedentary Workday

It is well-known excessive daily sitting can cause heart health risks among other ailments, but if your job has you sitting all day what can you do?  

Here are a few ways you can insert movement into your daily routine:

  • Utilize every opportunity throughout your day to stand and stretch as simple movements such as standing and stretching periodically during your day are great.
  • Be sure to utilize any breaks or downtime to incorporate walking even if it’s a short lap or two around your truck.
  • Consider taking a midday break or lunchtime walk it can help clear your mind and recharge you for the rest of the day.
  • You can add extra steps to your day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible.
  • You can always add a few squats to your day whenever you have some downtime to get your body moving.
  • Even an occasional ankle or arm flex, roll or stretch while sitting can help get your muscles going.
  • Be sure to use wellness or fitness facilities available at stops along your route.

Movement promotes bone health as bones, like muscles, require regular movement to maintain strength, even low-level activity helps to keep your bones healthy.

Standing provides great benefits too. Standing improves blood flow delivering oxygen and nutrients to the brain, increasing brain power. Circulation is crucial to good health however, sitting can impede blood flow which can affect your entire body.

Movement can trigger fat-burning enzymes to stay activated which, can result in burning more calories standing than sitting and can add up over time. Regular movement can boost natural antioxidants and reduces sedentary time, which is linked to lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and death due to heart attack.

Keep in mind research has also shown there is a significant correlation between excessive sitting and diabetes. Sedentary behavior has also been linked to a variety of other health problems which can increase the risk of early mortality.

Standing is a very simple but underrated remedy to sedentary behavior. Not to mention, there has been a direct correlation showing that standing can increase alertness, energy, and mental awareness which, can lead to greater productivity and improved concentration, creating better driving circumstances.

Incorporating low-level movement into your daily routine can reduce pain and discomfort allowing you to feel better when driving. Subtle movements can break up prolonged periods of sedentary behavior promoting high HDL (“good” cholesterol) and lowering LDL (“bad” cholesterol), which can improve blood pressure and lower the risk of a heart attack.

Alternating between sitting and standing increases the enzymes needed to metabolize food. The additional daily movement can help increase blood and oxygen flow to the brain and therefore, increase the flow of mood-enhancing chemicals.

When going about your daily routine, keep in mind it is recommended adults get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. This is approximately 21 minutes per day which, can be broken up as needed to fit your daily routine and schedule.

So literally, take a stand daily and as often as possible. Standing along with increases of small movements can help improve your health, relieve pain, increase happiness, and extend your life.

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