As technology has made our lives easier, we find more and more of our jobs to be behind desks on computers, phones and doing paperwork.  Sadly, sitting for prolonged periods of time has had negative effects on employee health.  Studies have shown that the decrease in physical activity in the workplace has contributed the rise in the obesity epidemic.  A 14-year study conducted by the American Cancer Society concluded that those who sit for greater than 6 hours per day had a higher mortality rate than those who sat less.  "Prolonged time spent sitting, independent of physical activity, has been shown to have important metabolic consequences, and may influence things like triglycerides, high density lipoprotein, cholesterol, fasting plasma glucose, resting blood pressure, and leptin, which are biomarkers of obesity and cardiovascular and other chronic diseases," said Dr. Alpa Patel, the study’s leader.  Recently, a NJ Worker's Comp court ruled that prolonged sitting was to blame for an obese woman's death by a blood clot.  Prolonged sitting from desk jobs is also related to chronic neck and low back pain.

Is there any hope? Of course there is! Read on and this guide will give you simple and easy tips to combat the detrimental effects of a sedentary job.

Step 1: Control Your Methods to and From Work

A 2005 U.S. Census study found that 87.7% of workers drive to work.  Are you one of them?  Look at your more active options for getting to and from work.  Depending on your proximity to work you might be able to catch a morning and evening workout just on your commute!

Walk/run: If you live close to your workplace, this could be a good option. Plan a safe route with plenty of sidewalks and well lit areas. Also, pack a comfortable bag with extra fluids, weather gear and your work attire to change into when you get there.

Bike: Also a good choice for those within close proximity to their workplace and a bit quicker.  My brother used his commute to jump-start his fitness routine by completing his 3.5 mile commute on bike.  My boyfriend also stayed fit in college using his bike to sneak in daily exercise to and from school.  After graduating and starting a job where he drove, he noticed a significant difference in his overall energy and fitness levels.

Public transit: If you live in an area with accessible public transportation, you may be able to utilize it to also remain less sedentary.  Although many stops are very convenient, you will most likely have to walk a bit to your nearest stop and stand to wait, which is more physical activity than driving. Even just a simple 1/2 mile walk to the bus stop would help you burn an extra 80 calories per day! And get you out of the rush hour traffic...

If these seem a little hefty, try one of them one day per week to start out . The best thing about using your method to and from work for exercise is that it forces you to do it.  If you biked to work, then you will have to bike home whether you feel like it or not. 

Of course not all of these options are available to everyone. Sometimes you just have to drive.  But what about parking a little further and enjoying a stroll or jog to work?

Once you get to work, do you take the elevator or escalator ?  Try the stairs!  Remember that famous scene from Rocky where he's running up the stairs for straining? That could be you. You could burn an extra 20-40 calories per day with just one flight of stairs.  When I worked on the 12th floor of a building I would challenge myself to see how many flights of stairs I could do and then take the elevator for the rest.  Be advised, you might want to go to the water fountain before letting your coworkers see you huffing and puffing!

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How about burning some calories making your own pictures and not posting other peoples' pictures here without even crediting them?
I went ahead and put all the sources back in, but the problem is still that none of them credited the actual original sources, which is why I didn't put it there in the first place. You must have missed steps 4 and 5 being too busy commenting on photo sources.
You know that it is not okay to steal photos for these projects, right? Just because a few things are yours doesn't negate the fact that the others are not.
All sources are there now, is it still not ok to use photos when their sources are given?
I went ahead and put that in the answers section to get some feedback. Is it never ok to use an image even if you site the source? I want to know.
This depends on the license of the picture. You can freely use pictures with for instance the Creative Commons License.<br>If no license is stated, then it is assumed that the owner retains the copyright and usage rights. In that case you always have to ask if you can use the picture, sitting the source isn't enough.<br><br>
Not true at all. The owner assumes all responsibility for filing for said rights. You are terribly misinformed in this matter. The assumption if the owner has not expressed copyright limitations is that there are none.
That's right, fatum!<br><br>And Bridget47: The people that did not say where they got the picture may have paid cash money to the copyright owner for being able to do that. The sale of stock-photos is a huge business.
Thank you for this post. While it has been a long while since others have commented, I wanted to give positive feedback. Also, the ones commenting on creative license and should you have photos previously credited know little to nothing about the actual laws behind copyrights and artistic/creative license. Great job on this!
I loved this instructable as I am one of them office sitting types. Great tips on moving about in the office.
William Proxmire was a senator from Wisconsin back in the 1970s. He had a special (small) desk built for himself that allowed him to stand while working in the office. He also jogged to work and was very careful about what he ate.

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a 23 year old grad student studying to become a physical therapist. I have always loved crafting. I find it so hard to ... More »
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