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The importance of everyday exercise

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Do you have a role that means that you are either walking or standing and only sit down for short periods of time? CONGRATULATIONS! Today a lot of people have jobs that mean a lot of sitting still and hardly any movement. At the same time, maybe there is more than one way to do the job?

The health risk with inactivivity has been known for a long time, but it is only in recent years that research has been able to show exactly HOW dangerous it can be. Also, studies have shown that three hard workouts at the gym per week is not enough to counter the negative effects that eight hours of still desk work has.

Sitting still increases the risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, it is important to reflect a moment about what your situation looks like. If your work day mostly consists of sitting still, you should try to make some minor adjustments. The positive thing is that only small changes can create some great health benefits over time. More and more studies show that there is a positive effect of swapping only a few minutes of sitting still with physical activity. The higher the intensity, the greater the effect, but everything counts towards the greater total.

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Tips on how to be a little more active at work:

  • If you have an adjustable desk, raise it when you go home so you always start your day standing. Vary standing and sitting as much as you can during the day. While standing, the chance of movement increases. 

  • Introduce walk-and-talk meetings at least once a week if possible.

  • Print your documents on a printer as far away from your desk as possible.

  • Walk to your colleagues instead of calling or emailing.

  • Pick up your coffee from another floor in the building, taking the stairs of course!

  • If possible, install an extra desk at the office with a sit-bike or treadmill and take turns using it. 

  • Set screen savers on your computers reminding you to do short paus stretches every 20 minutes.  

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About the authors Jessica & Maria

Challengize health tips are written for us by Jessica Norrbom and Maria Ahlsén, both with PHDs in medicine. Since 2013 they run their own business Fortasana working mainly with diet, training and health from a scientific perspective. Maria and Jessica have written several books and regularly lecture focusing mainly on popular health myths and explain what is actually true from a scientific perspective when it comes to diets, trends and newspaper headlines.

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