Sitting at a desk all day, every day, I've started to think a lot about moving. Staying active and healthy is a high priority for me right now, so I find myself getting very antsy staring at a computer for 8 hours. And studies show that even if you're active at other times, sitting for long periods can do serious damage to your health. Wanting to do something about this, I've done a little research on how to combat inactivity and here's what I do to keep it moving:
1. I drink A LOT of water. I have a 24oz. tumbler that Mommy gave me and I refill it 2+ times/day. This gets me out of my chair for every refill and every bathroom trip (there are lots). I've also read things about people doing sit-ups or push-ups with every bathroom break, but that's a little too expert-level for me yet.
2. Rather than send an email or make a phone call, I get up and go ask. Often my faculty aren't in their office, but even if they aren't, I still got up and walked somewhere.
3. I never take the elevator down. I work on the third floor and no matter where I'm going, I take the stairs down. Sure, I usually take the elevator up, but never down. Down is easy enough and gets my blood flowing.
4. The vending machines here are in the basement and the cafe is on the first floor, so whenever I go get a treat (which is about once a week) I compromise by taking the stairs back up to the third floor. I still get my treat, but I've at least worked off some of the calories.
5. The copy center is also in the basement and I always check "Hold for Pick-up" rather than having the copies delivered to my desk. Great chance to get up and take the stairs.
6. I don't lump together my errands. If I have a fax to send, I won't wait until I also have a letter to take to the mail room. Each errand is it's own opportunity for movement.
7. I set a timer on my phone for 40 mins and get up and walk whenever it goes off. Usually I just do a lap around the floor, but sometimes I take the stairs down to a different floor and do a lap there. Once I get back to my desk, I reset the timer.
8. I try my hardest to go outside every day (though I've gotten pretty terrible at it in this cold). I've let my faculty know that I love running errands around campus, so I often get to do that. If I don't bring my lunch to work, I try to avoid the cafe in the building and go outside to get food. Or, I'll just take a walk to the park near my office and spend about 5 mins hanging out before heading back to my desk.
9. I haven't tried this yet, but I saw the suggestion of using a bathroom on a different floor. This would offer a little more walking and a chance to take the stairs.
10. As often as I can, I use the walking desk. Yes, Penn Nursing is super-fancy and we have two walking desks. It's a desk (with a computer) at a treadmill. Pretty ingenious, huh? The treadmill is programmed not to go very fast and I love it for when I'm doing mindless, repetitive stuff.
I know it must sound like I'm up and down all day, but it really doesn't feel that way. Each time I get up, I'm only up for, at most, 5 minutes (except for going outside). If you have an office job, I hope you're inspired by something here. And I'd love other ideas! Leave suggestions in the comments.