X-bytes_WellnessBlog_Banner3-2It was only a few years ago that we began to be aware of the health risks of long-term sitting. Now the evidence has accumulated to the point that it’s has become a significant public-health issue. In fact, there is now a day dedicated to raising awareness: The American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) National Get Fit Don’t Sit Day is first Wednesday of May — May 4 this year — and is now in its second year.

Move of the Month

TRICEPS DIPS

  1. Place hands on edge of desk with fingers pointing toward feet
  2. Keep back straight and close to desk
  3. Bend arms to lower body
  4. Push up until arms are straight
  5. Repeat for 30 seconds or do 10 repetitions

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Beware of the Chair: It’s Get Fit Don’t Sit Month

It was only a few years ago that we began to be aware of the health risks of long-term sitting. Now the evidence has accumulated to the point that it has become a significant public-health issue. In fact, there is now a day dedicated to raising awareness: The American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) National Get Fit Don’t Sit Day is the first Wednesday of May — May 4 this year — and is now in its second year. Its mission is to alert people to the hazards and remind them of the importance of injecting their days with spurts of activity—especially at work.

And why the work focus? Well, we spend 75% of our working hours seated, totaling more than 75,000 hours in your working lifetime — or seven years of your life.

The ADA has developed an e-toolkit full of tips, ideas and activities to celebrate Get Fit Don’t Sit Day and motivate employees to take a life-long stand against the risks of sitting. Last year, thousands of businesses downloaded the Association’s e-toolkit and took steps to ensure the health of their employees through organized walks, hula-hoop contests, exercise stations, yoga classes and more.

Along with the tool kit, consider these tips to make National Get Fit Don’t Sit Day a success in your workplace (and tweet away: #getfitdontsit):

• Choose a spokesperson or champion for your event or from your organization, ideally a champion who is already active.
• Pick activities that resonate with your attendees or employees and the conference or workplace culture.
• Set reminders in your calendar and throughout the day to get up and move.
• Take to social media and the company intranet to will motivate people to move.

Make it a habit

Of course, you want your efforts to have a long-lasting impact, and that involves changing the workplace culture. Here are a few ways to sneak activity into the workday, everyday.
• Do stretches, including yoga, at desks or workstations.
• Try strength training at your desk using your own body weight (desk pushups and planks, triceps dips, squats, lunges).
• Arrange “walkshops” or walk and talk meetings
• Take a walk during lunchtime.
• Make your coffee break a walking break.
• Stand up while having business phone conversations.
• Have stand-up meetings.
• Walk to a coworker’s desk instead of emailing or calling.
• Take the stairs rather than the elevator or escalator.
• Walk briskly when heading to meetings.
• Take the long route to the restroom, printer, fax machine, etc.
• Strap on a wearable device (Apple Watch or Garmin) that reminds you to move if you’ve been sitting for an hour or more.

Step it up a notch

Once you’ve got buy-in, consider injecting a little competition. Here’s how:
• Walking teams
• Charitable walking events
• Walking scavenger hunts
• Hula Hoop, plank, push ups or squat contests
• Hopscotch or jump rope competitions
• Balance competitions
• Step climbing competitions
• Step competitions (using pedometers or wearable devices)
• Survivor challenge: Have teams compete to complete the most activities, give them a passport of activities to do.
• Challenge another company: Encourage everyone to log their activities and give prizes for most activities, most active, most creative etc.

And be sure to celebrate: Track participation and have an award ceremony so everyone can see how active your workplace is. Take pictures and post your results on social media.

We know that people are more successful making long-lasting health changes when they do it along with others. So if your office is a supportive one, why not take advantage of that and boost morale and well-being at the same time?

Want more deskercises and chair abs exercises to do at work?Click here for printable fitness sheets.

Standing up for good health,
Dr. Kim