Blog: Get Moving: Simple Ways to Increase Movement and Physical Activity During the Day

Dr. Carey Heller
Dr. Carey Heller

Dr. Carey Heller; Licensed Psychologist in Bethesda, Maryland

Most people would agree that as long as one is healthy enough to do so, getting movement in throughout the day, as well as rigorous physical activity, has many health benefits physically and emotionally. Despite all of the benefits, for a variety of reasons, including time, ease of access, motivation, and task initiation to name a few, it can be difficult for people to work movement into their day.

Here are some simple strategies and principles for incorporating movement into your day.

1) Weave movement breaks into your day.

If you are able to do so, take breaks from completing tasks or participating in work activities and go for walks or do other physical activity. For example, if working at a desk all day, have scheduled break times where you go for a walk, do push-ups, sit-ups, or other physical activity. If you have a job where you are out and about during the day, use extra time between appointments or block out extra time between them to go for walks or engage in other physical activity.

2) Add movement into work activities as feasible.

If you have the ability to incorporate physical activity into work tasks, this can be a great way to get extra movement in. For example, do conference calls while walking if possible. Or, if meeting with clients or colleagues, do some of these items while walking if possible. If you have a job where you do a lot of networking, consider suggesting meeting someone for an activity such as a nice walk or short hike instead of the usual meet up for coffee.

3) Do movement activities while sitting at a desk.

While taking breaks to get physical activity has many benefits, taking breaks as often as would be ideal may not always be possible. Therefore, getting movement in while working can work very well, especially because then you don’t lose any work time to do so. Some examples of ideas include using a desk bike, elliptical, or other machines under your desk. Just make sure your desk is high enough for your knees to clear. Alternatively, getting a standing desk or topper for your existing desk can turn it into a standing desk.

I hope that these tips are helpful in getting you moving to make changes as desired to increase your movement throughout the day.

Copyright 2021 Carey Heller, Psy.D.

*Disclaimer: The previous information is intended as general guidance based on my professional opinion, does not constitute an established professional relationship,  and should not replace the recommendations of a psychologist or other licensed professional with whom you initiate or maintain a professional relationship*

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