#NationalWalkingDay! How Much Do You Need To Walk To Counteract Sitting?

It's #NationalWalkingDay! So how can you get more steps in if you're a 9-5 desk jockey?

national walking day taking steps
via Pixabay

If you’re anything like me, your main source of cardio is watching Big Little Lies.

Fat lazy Cat on a Couch
via Giphy

This, combined with a relatively (*cough* very *cough*) sedentary lifestyle, can sometimes leave me feeling sluggish on even the most stress-free of days. So, on this National Walking Day, I thought I’d take us through the dangers of sitting, and how we can all stand to incorporate more steps into our daily routines.

In short, let’s make sure the only thing expanding at work is our opportunities, and not our waistlines.

We’ve all seen the studies surrounding the health risks attached to eight hour sit-a-thons. The headlines are downright terrifying: 50% increase in death of any cause, 125% (yes, you read that right) increase in cardiovascular disease and heart attack.

But did you know that even if you work out for an hour a day (the recommended amount) it may not be enough to balance out the time spent hunched over your slack discussion about the Big Little Lies finale? (Last mention, I promise!)

It turns out moving more frequently throughout your day, even at a leisurely pace, can help you burn more calories and prevent those nasty percentages mentioned above from sneaking any further up.

And wouldn’t you know it, walking can be a great help! Here’s how to sneak in more steps while crushing it at work:

Find the time! Walking for just ten minutes can help you counter strained sitting positions, and break up your day. So come lunch time, make a point of taking the scenic route to your usual sandwich shop, or get off a stop or two early on your way home and explore a new neighborhood. Shortcuts are only good if you’re late. Take your time.

Interrupt yourself every twenty minutes or so. Those big water bottles may be great for convenience, but keeping a small water glass that you need to get up to refill can help you break up the time you spend seated.

Choose stairs! Stairs are amazing. They don’t feel amazing when you’re huffing about ten steps in, but by choosing to take the stairs as often as you can, you raise your heart rate and engage those glutes!

Take your calls standing up. It’s a habit you can form that helps keep you on your feet, and it’s a proven fact that walking in circles while on the phone helps you form your thoughts. It’s also less awkward-looking than, say, doing a plank under your desk.

Get organized. Cleaning up your work area and throwing out clutter not only helps keep you moving, but it can also clear your mind and increase productivity.

Join me in trying to interrupt sitting!

Have any other tips for increasing your daily steps and staying healthy? E-mail me at tara@leadx.org and I’ll add them to the list!

Happy walking!

Tara has been writing for over 6 years, from stand-up comedy, to think-pieces, to political satire and blog posts. She now writes and edits for LEADx.org, and her door is open to any interested contributors.