I eat healthy and I engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days of the week, but is that enough to stay healthy? Well, maybe not entirely.
Take a moment and think about your sedentary footprint. Ask yourself:
- How many hours a day am I sitting at work, at home, in the car?
- How many hours am I laying down, on my phone, watching tv, and browsing the internet?
The American Cancer Society recommends at a minimum 150 minutes of moderate exercise (e.g. mowing the lawn, walking, yoga, golfing) or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise (e.g. running, circuit weight training, swimming) a week for cancer prevention. However, what we frequently don’t hear about is the American Cancer Society also recommends limiting our sedentary behavior by participating in activities outside our usual routine.
What does this mean?
Even though we may be eating right and exercising at the suggested levels of moderate or vigorous exercise, having sedentary behavior the rest of the day can be detrimental to our health. Research shows participating in sedentary behavior may increase our risk of lung cancer, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Also, sitting for 2-hours per day may increase the risk of colon and endometrial cancer.
The American Institute for Cancer Research created a great visual demonstrating the cancer risk based on the amount of moderate/vigorous activity in addition to participating in activities outside our usual routine.
Get up and make these changes to your daily routine!
So, what you can do outside your usual routine to keep moving and reduce your sedentary footprint?
Some examples at work:
- Walk to the furthest bathroom
- Take the stairs, not the elevator
- Park the car far from the office
- Walk during your lunch break with your coworkers
- Compete with coworkers on the number of steps taken per week
- Get up and stretch every hour – set a reminder (e.g. post-it note, alarm, coworker accountability)
Some examples at home:
- Walk on a treadmill or bicycle while watching TV
- Walk or bike to the store to pick up a few items
- Take a break, get up, stretch, and walk around the block
- Get together with your neighbors to play a game of soccer, basketball, or baseball
- Walk to the mailbox
- Go to the local park and have a picnic
Be accountable. Get your friends, coworkers, spouse, and other family members to do the same.
Now that you spent a few minutes reading this blog, get up, get moving, and reduce your sedentary footprint!
Want more free fitness tips sent straight to your inbox?
Sign up for Life+!
Latest posts by Christy Loo, PT, DPT (see all)
- Get Wise & Deskercise: How to Exercise at Your Desk - March 8, 2019
- Fear Avoidance and the Pain Cycle - July 26, 2018
- A Hike to Remember: Little Lakes Valley - December 12, 2017
- Brussels Sprouts: Fear No More! - December 5, 2017
- Improving Desk Ergonomics - November 16, 2017