Stand up and walk.

Walk during your work day. It doesn’t mean you have to stop working.

It is very common for a working person’s day to be filled with phone calls, sit-down meetings, reading/research, long drives to and from work, and many other tasks done while sitting on their rear end. You’ll hear some doctors say all that sitting is the new smoking. There is a high correlation between this sedentary life-style and cardio-metabolic morbidity (think risk of diabetes, heart attack, or stroke).

Employees try to combat this by getting a standing or walking on a treadmill at their desk. Neither of these concepts have proven to decrease your risk of developing diseases related to sedentary lifestyle. Even worse, walking while at your desk may decrease productivity. Even participating in 20-40 minutes of moderate-vigorous exercise daily won’t take away from all of the hours of sitting (but if you are exercising, do not stop!)


Wearable fitness trackers, including Fit Bit and Apple watch, can  be set to remind you to get up and walk every hour or half hour but, even still these are ignored because people feel they can not stop working. Getting up to walk does not mean you have to stop working. There is even a good chance that standing and walking more frequently will make you more productive while you are seated at your desk.

Take a look at your day, all the tasks that need to get done. Can any of the phone calls or meetings be done while you walk? If so, great! How about walking around your office while you find the need to brainstorm? Or putting on your coat and walking out the front door for some fresh air? Remember, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. It doesn’t have to be long and it doesn’t have to have a specific distance. Getting up to move throughout your day, which will increase your daily energy (calorie) expenditure.

Start with small achievable goals. Lets say one 5 minute walk in the morning and one in the afternoon. Then maybe increase it 10 minutes or 2×5 in the am and afternoon! Ours bodies are made to move, so lets move more often.


Associations of sitting behaviours with all-cause mortality over a 16-year follow-up: the Whitehall II study.

Pulsford RM, Stamatakis E, Britton AR, Brunner EJ, Hillsdon M

Int J Epidemiol. 2015 Dec; 44(6):1909-16.