Step Ahead: Getting More Physical Activity at Work

Physical activity is important for people of all ages. If you are physically active on most days of the week, it can make you healthier. Combined with healthy eating, physical activity helps you lose any extra weight and keep from gaining weight over time. Physical activity helps reduce your risk of many health problems such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and some types of cancer. It also reduces your chances of falls and injuries, and can help reduce stress and feelings of depression.

Here are some tools to help you become more physically active at work

How Active Are You?

  • Adults should get 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week.
  • Research shows that almost ĺ of American adults do not get this much physical activity.
  • Being active for a total of at least 30 minutes each day can improve your weight, your health and the quality of your life.

Why Be Active at Work?

Most of us spend much of our time at work. By the time the work day is over, it can be tough to fit activity in. By making the workday as active as possible, you can reduce your risk of certain diseases and keep extra weight off.

Canít Find the Time?

It may seem difficult to squeeze physical activity into your work routine, but you don't have to do it all at once. By making some simple adjustments, it is easier than you may think to get the recommended levels of activity during your work day. Try some of these ways to add physical activity into your work routine. Remember that a few minutes of physical activity here and there during the day will add up!

Use the stairs. Climbing up and down provides a very good workout. Spend a few minutes on the stairs every work day to increase your fitness level.

Take an exercise break instead of a coffee break. It will wake you up just as much as coffee does and itís good for you!

Walk with a buddy or group at lunch break or before or after school.. Spend half of your break taking a walk either inside the building or outside on the grounds. Step Ahead has indoor and outdoor routes at your school. Check with your school for maps with suggested walking routes.

Set goals for physical activity and stick to them! Keep track of the number of steps you take using a step counter, or write down the number of minutes you exercise, or the number of times you use the stairs instead of the elevator.

Park your car at the far end of the parking lot so you will walk more at the beginning and end of the day.

Come in a few minutes early or stay a few minutes late and walk up and down the stairs or around the building.

Set a reminder to remind yourself to take an activity break. If you work at a computer or have a PDA, set a reminder to yourself to take an activity break every few hours. Use this time to quickly stretch or take a quick walk.

To learn more about healthy eating, physical activity and healthy weight, check out these related links:


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