For years experts have been focusing on how much exercise Americans are getting outside of work, and what we are eating as the key to why obesity has been on the rise over the last decades. However, today’s New York Times had a game-changing revalation on the front page: rising American obesity is a result of increasingly sedentary jobs.Â
In 1960, 1 in 2 workers in the US had jobs requiring moderate physical activity, now that number is 1 in 5. This accounts for a decline of 120 to 140 calories burned a day, which is on par with the weight gain numbers over the past 50 years.
As a chef, it’s easy to keep busy during the workday, it’s a demanding physical job that keeps you on your feet for many hours. But, if you sit at a desk, it’s not uncommon to stand up as little as three times a day.
Now that we know that not moving enough at work is one of the main culprits, it’s important to introduce more activity into the workplace! Here are some tips to get moving and burn those calories, even if you have a sedentary job.
* Discuss matters face-to-face with colleagues instead of over email. Just walking over to your coworker’s office will get you out of your chair and more active.
* Walk to the printer or fax machine instead of reaching to grab printed papers.
* Bring your own healthy lunch, then walk to farthest garbage or recycling to discard it. Even better, walk outside or to a separate area to eat it.
* Take the stairs to work, and even walk up and down the flights a few times during your lunch break.
* Take public transit. It saves money and gets you moving.
* Stay hydrated to keep you refreshed and alert, and you’ll have to get up to refill your water glass more often.
Big potential innovations include treadmill-style desks, standing workstations, and offices that are re-designed to encourage walking. However, many of these solutions are costly and might not be available to you right now. The most important thing is to keep moving throughout the day, every little movement adds up!
How do you stay active during the work day?