It’s no big secret that prolonged periods of sedentary behaviour (i.e. sitting at a desk or sitting watching TV) can contribute to many illnesses and diseases. However, this may also be the case even if you’re getting your recommended amount of physical activity in the day.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommend limiting inactive periods to a maximum of 1 hour. But how can you do that if your job is to sit at a desk? Well here are some examples of ways to break-up sedentary behaviour:

While you’re at work:

  • Take breaks every hour from sitting. Try standing, stretching, walking on the spot, etc.
  • Walk around during phone calls, use a headset for more freedom from your desk.
  • Instead of sending short emails across the office, get up and deliver the information personally.
  • Use the stairs in your building instead of the lifts.
  • Go out for your lunch and walk around, instead of sitting for your break.

While you’re at home:

  • Have active breaks while watching TV (during adverts, etc.). Walk around or on the spot.
  • Multi-task – Do the ironing or clean while you watch TV.
  • If you play video games then opt for more active games or limit play time to 45 minutes per session while using 15 minutes to move around.
  • Wash dishes by hand, instead of using a machine.
  • Use the stairs as an exercise platform, walk up them briskly instead of slowly.
  • Cook your own food instead of ordering it.

When you’re on the move:

  • Walk to work, or walk to take your children to school, etc.
  • Stand on public transport and get off a stop or two early and walk if it’s feasible.
  • Use a bicycle instead of a car.
  • If you have to eat at a fast food restaurant, go inside and collect your food instead of using a drive-through.

Some of these tips may seem obvious, but there are loads of ways to stay active even if you currently live a sedentary lifestyle.

Can you think of any other good tips for staying active?