May 15 is Employee Health and Fitness Day and a great reminder to find time for fitness whenever and wherever you can. As Shawn Richardville, lead exercise specialist, Parkview Health and Fitness Center, shows us, even if your job has you sitting at a desk all day, there are simple, quick exercises you can do in your work space to get the blood flowing.
If you describe your daily routine as sedentary without much physical activity, you’re not alone. Less than half of all adults in the United States get enough physical activity. According to the Centers for Disease Control, "inactive adults have a higher risk for early death, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression and some cancers."
How much activity should you be getting? According to the American Heart Association, adults should aim for:
- 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise (like brisk walking) or
- 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic exercise (like running) each week.
- And on at least 2 days per week, we should also be doing some muscle strengthening exercises.
Divide and conquer.
The good news is, you don't have to do the exercise in big blocks of time (like 30 or 45 minutes). Even 10 minutes of exercise at a time is acceptable and beneficial. You may not be able to carve an extra hour out of the day to go to the gym, but you can certainly find two or three 10-minute intervals throughout the day to get moving.
For inspiration, Shawn created a video series of exercises you can do right at your desk. He shows you exactly what to do in order to tone your muscles and burn some calories. Performing these exercises regularly will help you feel stronger, improve your concentration, deliver more energy and maybe even improve your performance at work.
You can see the full set of videos on the Parkview Health YouTube channel in a playlist called Desk Exercises.