Move More…Sit Less is about being physically active and not sitting for long periods of time at work, during leisure time, and when you are traveling from one place to another.
There is strong scientific evidence that says frequent moderate to vigorous intensity exercise during the week plays a significant preventative role in cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers. The human body, with approximately 640 muscles and 206 bones, is made to move.
What is sedentary behavior? Sedentary behavior is any activity that requires very little movement and is often done sitting or lying down. These activities include sitting in meetings, using a computer, watching television, and playing video games.
Build Activity Into Your Day
It is important to build activity into your day, all day long and limit the amount of time you spend doing sedentary activities. What happens in your body when you are sedentary is different than when you are active. While physical activity decreases your risk for many chronic diseases, being sedentary for long periods will increase your risk. You need to move more and sit less!
How much sedentary behavior is too much? While formal sedentary guidelines for adults have not been developed yet, research suggests that after sitting for 60 minutes, we should get up, stretch and move for at least 1-3 minutes.
Why Should I Move More and Sit Less?
You will improve your:
- Energy level
- Concentration, memory, alertness
- Work-life balance
- Fitness level
- Feelings about yourself and self-confidence
You will lower your:
- Stress level
- Risk for injury at work
- Time off due to illness
- Risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some cancer
Recommendations for Adults Over 65:
The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association have published recommendations based on available research for types and frequency of movement for older adults. They are:
- Moderately intense aerobic activity for 30 minutes on most days of the week OR vigorously intense activity for 20 minutes 3 days per week.
- Strength training 2-3 times per week, 8-10 exercises, 10-15 repetitions
- Flexibility or stretching
- Balance exercises if you are at risk for falls
Get Active Ideas for Daily Life:
- Get a step counter and start tracking your steps. Progress up to 10,000 steps or more a day.
- Set an alarm to remind yourself to get up at least once an hour to stretch, or otherwise engage your muscles.
- Stand up and move whenever you have a drink of water.
- Take a walk through the house after using the restroom.
- Take a walk or move around after eating.
- Walk your dog daily.
- Replace those Sunday drives with Sunday walks.
- When watching TV, stand up and move with every commercial break.
- Walk up and down the stairs.
- Walk fast when doing errands.
- Pace the sidelines at athletic games.
- Walk up and down the shopping aisles at the store before you shop.
- Go outside and get some fresh air during the day.
- Pick up a new active hobby, such as swimming, walking, or hiking.
- After reading six pages of a book, get up and move a little.
- Try standing and moving whenever you are talking on a phone.
- Walk when feel tired during the day.
- Dance to your favorite inspiring music selections.
- Walk briskly in the senior center or school hallways.
- Chores can be turned into a heart-pumping activity. Turn on some upbeat music and get working.
- Walk after completing a task.
- Move when you feel discomfort in your back/neck/ shoulders.
The key to living healthier is staying active! There are considerable health consequences to living the life of a couch potato. It is important to dedicate 30 minutes of each day for your moderate-intensity physical activity! In addition, making small movement changes in your daily life by creating your own “get active action plan” is equally important and to your overall health. Get moving, and stay moving!