Tips to Increase Daily MovementPosted: Feb 17 in Activity Recommendations, Health And Wellness by Dr. Lazarus
Current evidence suggests that keeping weight off requires a lot of daily physical activity. Oftentimes, people think that this needs to be “exercise.” Well, believe it or not, it doesn’t!
What is physical activity?
Obviously, exercise counts as physical activity – running, walking, biking, weights, yoga, Pilates, rowing, swimming, skiing, hiking… There is certainly no shortage of available activities, especially here in Colorado! However, I like to think of physical activity as anything besides sitting.
We call these other activities “NEAT” which stands for “non-exercise activity thermogenesis.” Standing or walking desks, etc.
Recently with the Covid pandemic, many people have converted their homes into home offices, giving them lots of control over their home environment. While many people sit at their desk all day on zoom calls, I’ve also heard of many more creative solutions.
Step 1: Sit / Stand desk
Sit / Stand desks allow you to stand up while you work for part of the day. Many people just get a gizmo that sits on top of the desk, raising the monitor / mouse / keyboard to a comfortable standing height. In fact, we’ve equipped all of the offices at CNC with sit / stand desks. This is an example of a nice desk that would sit on top of any existing desk (there are tons of options ranging from around $100 – $500).
There are electronic dedicated sit stand desks available at most office stores, and even places like Costco, Ikea, or finer furniture stores like Room & Board. Many people start by doing 1 phone call in the morning / 1 in the afternoon standing, and voila – we have converted 1 hour of the day from sitting to standing! It is important to get a good anti-fatigue mat so your feet don’t get tired, and wear comfortable shoes! Or…
Step 2: Moving desk
The next step up from this would be to actually find an activity to do while standing. Some people get resistance tubes or hand weights and will actually use these during a call. More recently, my patients have been getting “wobble boards.” These are awesome! Instead of standing still, you can wiggle side to side or front to back. You can get a board with a smaller wobble like this one, or with a really big wobble. The smaller wobble boards are great because it is unlikely you would fall off. We’ve heard great things about this one, available on Amazon. The bigger wobble boards are actually pretty challenging! Careful not to fall! You might consider one like this.
Of course, the next step up from this would be a walking or biking desk. Options for under-desk treadmills and bikes are available from this company. Many of our patients also really like the under-desk bikes like this one. The under-desk bikes like the Deskcycle 2 can also be used while watching your favorite television show.
Step 3: Leave the house
Believe it or not, you don’t always need to be glued to the computer. Can any of your calls be done by phone while you go outside for a walk? I’ve had countless patients tell me that they can often find one or two calls a day that they take while walking around the neighborhood.
So, by implementing some of these strategies, you can actually convert 1 or 2 hours of your day that was previously spent sitting into time where you are standing, walking, balancing, wobbling, wiggling, lifting and stretching. You will feel more energetic and you will improve your odds of keeping all the weight off!
*Please note I’ve included several links in this article. I in no way sponsor or endorse any of the products listed, nor have I received any endorsement to link to these products – please do your research and let me know any ways you find to convert your sitting activities to moving activities!