From the Living Well Alliance—Don’t Let Autumn Stall You! Keep Moving at Work

Autumn exercise can seem like such a challenge because of the cooler weather and darkness outside. Children are heading back to school. Our schedules feel busier. And yet, physical activity helps not only the body, but also the mind. When we are active, we are better able to focus and be productive at work. We also feel happier and less stressed, and we tend to get more quality sleep at night.

So how can you stay active this fall? Try these tips for moving more at work.

Minimize the time you spend sitting. The average time sitting at work is 6.2 hours. Researchers say these long hours of sitting correlate to greater risk for heart disease and diabetes. And unfortunately you can’t undo these periods of sitting with one longer workout after work. So, it’s important to interrupt long periods of sitting with consistent movement.

Get up and move. To keep your muscles, joints and mind’s productivity at their best, sit for no more than 30 minutes at a time. Take a two-minute moving break at least twice an hour to stretch or walk around. Stand up, move about, try some stretches. Try these resources on Stretches and Walking Your Way to Health.

Find exercise you like to do! Whatever you choose, you have to enjoy it to keep up a routine. For example, if you hate squats, use the same muscles by taking a walk up a slight hill instead. Don’t want to get out your biking gear? Maybe a jump rope would be quicker and easier workout for you.

Get a friend or colleague to join you. Peer pressure isn’t always bad, especially around exercise. Have a friend join you on a morning walk for a chance to catch up on each other’s lives.

Work different muscles throughout the day. We often forget about our upper body (think T-Rex arms), so try some of these exercises using a resistance band. These bands are easy to store at work and are affordable.