All answers must be in minutes and should relate to an average day (not that one time you had the day off and took a long walk and forgot to check your email 17 times.)
Commute time to and from work: _______
Commute time for kids to after school activities: _______
Sitting a day at work: _______
Sitting eating breakfast, lunch and dinner: _______
Watching TV/movies (30-60 minutes per show):_______
Using the Internet or computer (not at work): _______
Other sitting time (reading, sewing, knitting, toilet*, building models, etc.): _______
Total minutes (add all numbers above): ________
Looks pretty good so far, right?
Now add 420 minutes (7 hours worth) as the average amount of time you spend in bed. Adjust this number up or down depending.
(Number from above) + (420 +/- any adjustments) = ________
Subtract the above number from 1440 (the total amount amount of minutes per day): 1440 – _______ = ______
This last number is the amount of minutes your body is active per day, or said a different way, how many minutes per day that you spend not sitting or lying around.
I am mobile _________ minutes on an average day.
Divide this number by 1440, and multiply by 100 and you’ll find the percentage of movement you’re getting compared to what is possible in a 24-hour period.
I am mobile ____ % of the day.
We have, in our culture, the belief that exercising 30-minutes or an hour is enough to make up for hours of sloth. It’s not. In fact, regular exercisers do not experience a reduced risk of dying from the same things that non-exercisers die of. The risk of death from things like CV disease is not actually associated with how much you move, but by how much you don’t move. This test is not biased to those who exercise and those who don’t. It quantifies only what it states. How much you sit.
To reduce your risk of CV disease, you do not have to exercise more (read: sweaty, scheduled, and requiring a new outfit), you simply have to stop sitting for such a high percentage of the day. Or, said a different way, we have to stop trying to *fix* our health, without changing the damaging habits. You can’t keep eating crap all day long and “running it off” so to speak. Biology doesn’t work that way. It’s the crappy, all-day habits your body is adjusting too, not the one hour you’re making good choices. Gotta make good choices the bulk, with the crap sprinkled here an there, like on a donut.
1. Standing work station.
2. Walk to errands and appointments.
3. How about a strolling lunch or eating a breakfast sandwich while walking your kid to school (or yourself to work?)
4. Get rid of the TV. Or, at least the cable. It’s like candy on the teeth — it really is rotting your health. Is anything on TV that good? Besides Top Chef, I mean.
5. Walking dates as social activity with friends, partner, kids.
6. Walking book groups and books on tape.
7. Stand at seminars, meetings, events. It helps to get a clipboard. And, P.S. If someone asks you why your standing, say “too much research on sitting as a risk for CV disease and certain cancers. I’m minimizing my time as much as possible. Want to borrow my other clipboard?”)
8. Need to catch up on personal calls? Do it walking or gardening, etc.
9. Can’t take a long break? Use time in between clients to do a quick stretch of the calves and hamstrings (check out this hybrid stretch):
stretch your chest and shoulders on your office chair, massage table, or wall:
and take two to five minutes to take a quick lap around your desk, office, or office building. Stairs in your building? Go up and down a flight (you don’t need to run them, and do pay attention to your whole-body positioning) two or three times.
If you do this seven or eight times a day, you will have added an hour of movement to your day, easy. What are you waiting for?
If you have a great idea about ways to reduce sitting time here and there, please share your comments with your community excited about whole-body wellness!
If you feel like you need to post the reason(s) why you are unable to increase your daily movement, even by one percent, go ahead and post that. I will respond with, “Is that so?” and nothing else 🙂
* I put this in because my husband disappears into the bathroom twice a day, for 37 minutes a visit. It’s his way of vacationing from the baby. “Not just the baby,” he just said.