Physical Activity at Work – Every Little Bit Counts

by Together Counts Partner | February 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm | comments

Lately I’ve felt, in a word…busy. I’m not alone. Most of us are juggling multiple tasks throughout the day: meeting deadlines, making connections and finishing projects.

Yet, all this business does not translate into much physical activity. It’s a bit of a paradox if you think about it. Through all of this “go-go-going” we often find ourselves sit-sit-sitting. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 23 percent of Americans have sedentary jobs, up from 15 percent in 1960.

Even more discouraging research finds that regular exercise may not be enough to counteract the negative effects of sitting all day. Yikes! So, what can we do? It’s simple really…get up and move! Incorporating small bits of physical activity throughout your day is beneficial to your waistline and your overall well-being. Starting this month, try these tips for moving more throughout the workday:

Set hourly alarms on your computer to get up and get moving. I use the Task feature in Microsoft Outlook. If you don’t work in front of a computer with scheduling software, you may try setting an alarm on your cell phone or carrying a small timer in your pocket instead.

Keep a resistance band at your desk. This portable, versatile piece of exercise equipment is a great way to sneak in bicep curls and tricep extensions during the day.

Do lunges or chair squats at your desk. The benefits of this lower-body exercise are well worth the funny looks you may receive from employees passing by.

Walk with a co-worker at lunch. Even if it’s just a 10-minute stroll, you’ll feel better physically and mentally.

Replace your chair with a stability ball a couple of times a week. This is a great way to stay mindful of posture and keep from slumping over your keyboard.

Our bodies were not meant to be seated all day, plain and simple. Try to think of exercise as loose change – it all adds up! And just like extra loose change, extra physical activity is something that will make all of our lives “richer.” By getting more active in both the workplace and at home with our families, we’ll be on the road to more balanced lives.

How do you stay well in the workplace and at home?

Maggie Thorison is the Wellness Manager at TOPS Club, Inc., the original nonprofit, noncommercial weight-loss support and wellness education organization. She writes the Wellness Wednesday blog for TOPS’ website,