Counteracting a sedentary lifestyle at workCounteracting a sedentary lifestyle at work
Did you know that sitting is now considered the new smoking? That’s right … it has been said that sitting for five hours a day is equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes when it comes to our health. And seeing that people are seated approximately 9.3 hours a day, we may have an epidemic on our hands.

The American Cancer Society conducted a 14-year study focused on health outcomes and found that women who sit for more than six hours each day were 40% more likely to die during the course of the study, and men sitting for the same period of time were 20% more likely to die. Talk about motivation to get up and move.

But even with the best intentions, a deskbound job can make this nearly impossible, right? Not so fast … keep reading for some simple tips to add some activity to even the most sedentary of jobs.

Changing work environments
With more and more of the population focusing on health, how is it that inactivity and obesity is climbing? Some people may argue that technology is a large contributing factor. Others blame it on TV, soda and fast food. But, consider this—in 1960, one in two Americans had a physically active job. Today, only one in five does. The reliance of today’s workforce on the Internet and email has turned what used to be light duty jobs into completely sedentary ones.

But just because a job is sedentary, doesn’t mean employees have to be. There are many ways to add activity to daily work life. Kick off a “get up and move” initiative in your agency or even with the clients you serve. Here are some helpful tips to get started:

  • Stand: We think of desks as a place to sit and do work … but that’s old school thinking. Adjust desks to standing height. Standing can increase blood flow, boost metabolism and burn 50% more calories than sitting. Plus, standing has been known to alleviate back pain, increase core strength and boost energy.
  • Stability balls: Replacing chairs with an exercise stability ball can be a great way to promote movement. Exercise balls can build muscle, improve posture and increase energy. Plus, a stability ball forces its occupant to constantly adjust positions (i.e. move) in order to maintain balance.
  • Walk: There are a slew of ways to increase one’s footsteps at work. Send documents to a printer down the hall instead of the one closest to the desk. Or promote the utilization of good old face-to-face communication in lieu of email or instant message. Bypass the conference room for meetings and hold “walk and talk” meetings instead. Or if you really want to dive in, consider having “walk-stations” or treadmill desks. Pedometers can be a great way to track how many steps are taken each day, and they can give a baseline for improvement.
  • Stretch: Stretching can really help to alleviate the aches and pains associated with sitting all day.Plus, it’s a great excuse to get up and move. Set calendar notifications or use a timer as a reminder to get up and stretch. Encourage employees to stand, loosen up, move their legs, roll their necks and wiggle their fingers and toes. The importance isn’t so much in the stretching technique as it is in just getting up and moving.

Whatever methods of movement you choose for your movement initiative, kick it off big. Provide water bottles, custom messaged silicone bracelets and matching colored awareness ribbons to promote your message throughout your agency as visual reminders that you’re committed to getting your team moving; they’ll thank you for it.

“The Danger of Our Sedentary Society.” Global Public Square RSS. N.p., 14 Mar. 2013. Web. 01 Apr. 2013.

Tate, Ryan. “In Silicon Valley, Sitting Is the New Smoking.” Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital, 25 Feb. 2013. Web. 01 Apr. 2013.

Hudson, William. “Sitting for Hours Can Shave Years off Life.” CNN. Cable News Network, 24 June 2011. Web. 01 Apr. 2013.

Parker-Pope, Tara. “SEDENTARY WORK CITED AS FACTOR IN RISING OBESITY.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 26 May 2011. Web. 02 Apr. 2013.

IamBee. “Tips for Making a Sedentary Job More Active.” Helium. Helium, 10 Oct. 2012. Web. 02 Apr. 2013.

Quora. “What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Standing Desks?” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 16 July 2012. Web. 02 Apr. 2013.

Cespedes, Andrea. “How to Sit on a Balance Ball at Your Desk.” LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., 23 July 2010. Web. 02 Apr. 2013.

Lukatch, Mark. “In Silicon Valley, Sitting Is the New Smoking.” Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital, 25 Feb. 0013. Web. 02 Apr. 2013.

Deardorff, Julie. “Sedentary Office Workers Try Standing Desks.” Chicagotribune.com. N.p., 8 Aug. 2012. Web. 02 Apr. 2013.

 

July

Monthly
Air-Conditioning Appreciation Days (7/3 to 8/15)
Bereaved Parents Month
Bioterrorism/Disaster Education & Awareness Month
Cell Phone Courtesy Month
Dog Days
Eggplant and Lettuce Month
Family Reunion Month
Family Golf Month
Freedom From Fear of Speaking Month
Hemochromatosis Screening Awareness Month
Herbal/Prescription Awareness Month
International Blondie and Deborah Harry Month
International Group B Strep Awareness Month
International Women with Alopecia Month
International Zine Month
Mango and Melon Month
National Black Family Month
National Blueberries Month
National Child-Centered Divorce Month
National “Doghouse Repairs” Month
National Grilling
National Ice Cream Month
National Horseradish Month
National Hot Dog Month
National Independent Retailers Month
National Make a Difference to Children Month
National Recreation and Parks
National Share a Sunset Month
National Wheelchair Beautification Month
Nectarine and Garlic Month
Sandwich Generation Month
Share a Sunset With Your Lover Month
Smart Irrigation Month
Social Wellness Month
Tour de France Month
Women’s Motorcycle Month
Women With Alopecia Month
Worldwide Bereaved Parents Month
Weekly
National Education Association Week: 1-6
National Unassisted Homebirth Week: 1-7
Beans and Bacon Days: 4-7
Freedom Week: 4-10
International Chicken Wing Week: 5-7
Be Nice to New Jersey Week: 7-13
National Farriers Week: 7-13
Nude Recreation Week: 8-14
Everybody Deserves a Massage Week: 14-20
Sports Cliché Week: 14-20
Rabbit Week: 15-21
National Baby Food Week: 17-20
National Ventriloquism Week: 17-21
Comic Con International: 18-21
Restless Leg Syndrome Education & Awareness Week: 18-25
National Scrabble Week: 19-24
National Parenting Gifted Children Week: 21-27
Captive Nations Week: 21-27
National Independent Retailers Week: 21-27
National Zoo Keeper Week: 21-27
World Lumberjack Championships: 25-27
Garlic Days: 26-28
Single Working Woman’s Week: 29-8/4
AFRMA Fancy Rat and Mouse Week: 31-8/4
Daily
1: Canada Day
1: National GSA Employee Day
1: Second Half of The Year Day
1: U.S. Postage Stamp Day
1: Zip Code Day
2: I Forgot Day
2: Made in the USA Day
2: World UFO Day
3: Compliment Your Mirror Day
3: Stay Out Of The Sun Day
4: Boom Box Parade Day
4: Fourth of July or Independence Day
4: Independence From Meat Day
4: Indivisible Day
5: Bikini Day
5: Earth at Aphelion
5: International Chicken Wing Day
5-7: Roswell UFO Days
6: Hop A Park Day
6-8: International Chicken Wing Society Cook-off Day
6: International Cherry Pit Spitting Day
6: International Kissing Day or World Kiss Day
6: International Day of Cooperatives
6: Take Your Webmaster to Lunch Day
7: Chocolate Day
7: Father-Daughter Take A Walk Together Day
7: Global Forgiveness Day
7: Tell The Truth Day
8: Math 2.0 Day
8: SCUD Day (Savor the Comic, Unplug the Drama)
8: International Town Criers Day
9: Martyrdom of The Bab
9: Ramadan
10: Clerihew Day
10: Don’t Step On A Bee Day
10: Hot Dog Night
10: Pina Colada Day
10: Teddy Bear’s Picnic Day
11: Bowdler’s Day
11: Cheer Up the Lonely Day
11: Day of the Five Billion
11: Slurpee Day
11: World Population Day
12: Chick-fil-A’s Cow Appreciation Day
12: Collector Car Appreciation Day
12: Simplicity Day
13: Bald Is In
13: Carver Day
13: Embrace Your Geekness Day
13: Gruntled Workers Day
13: Wayne Chicken Day
13: National French Fries Day
14: Grange Day
14: International Nude Day
15: Be a Dork Day
15: Global Hug Your Kid Day
15: Gummi Worm Day
15: National Get Out of the Doghouse Day
15: Saint Swithin’s Day
15: Tish B’Av
17: Wrong Way Corrigan Day
17: Yellow Pig Day
18: Get to Know Your Customers Day
18: International Mandela Day
19: Flitch Day
20-21: Celebrate the Horse Day
20: Moon Day
20: National Lollipop Day
21: National Hot Dog Day
21: Toss Away the “Could Haves” and “Should Haves” Day
21: Woodie Wagon Day
21: National Ice Cream Day
21: Legal Drinking Age Day
22: Casual Pi Day
22: National Penuche Fudge Day
22: Rat-catcher Day
22: Spooners (Spoonerism) Day
23: Gorgeous Grandma Day
23: Hot Enough For Ya Day
24: Church of Latter Day Saints Pioneer Day
24: Cousins Day
24: Mormon Pioneer Day
24: National Drive-Thru Day
24: National Tequila Day
24: Tell an Old Joke Day
25: Carousel Day or Merry-Go-Round Day
25: National Chili Dog Day
25: Thread The Needle Day
26: One Voice
26: Lumberjack Day
26: National Talk in An Elevator Day
26: System Administrator Appreciation Day
27: Barbie-in-a-blender Day
27: National Dance Day
27: National Day of the Cowboy
27: National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day
27: National Milk Chocolate Day
27: Take Your Houseplant For A Walk Day
27: Aunties Day
27: Walk on Stilts Day
28: Anne Hutchinson Memorial Day
28: Buffalo Soldiers Day
28: Paddle for Perthes Disease Awareness Day
28: Parents’ Day
28: World Hepatitis Day
29: Lasagna Day
29: National Chicken Wing Day
29: Rain Day
30: Cheesecake Day
30: Father-In-Law Day
30: Health Care Now! Medicare’s Birthday
30: National Support Public Education Day
30: Paperback Book Day
31: Uncommon Instruments Awareness Day
 

August

Monthly
American Adventures Month
American Artists Appreciation Month
American Indian Heritage Month
American History Essay Contest
Black Business Month
Cataract Awareness Month
Celery, Fennel and Cactus Month
Children’s Eye Health & Safety Month
Children’s Vision & Learning Month
Get Ready for Kindergarten Month
Golf Month
Happiness Happens Month
Motorsports Awareness Month
National Catfish Month
National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Month
National Goat Cheese Month
National Immunization Awareness Month
National Panini Month
National Minority Donor Awareness Month
National Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month
National Runaway Prevention Month
National Truancy Prevention Month
National Water Quality Month
National Win with Civility Month
Neurosurgery Outreach Month
Orange and Papaya Month
Psoriasis Awareness Month
What Will Be Your Legacy Month
Weekly
International Clown Week: 1-7
Simplify Your Life Week: 1-7
World Breastfeeding Week: 1-7
National Farmers’ Market Week: 4-10
Old Fiddler’s Week: 4-10
Rock for Life Week: 4-7
Assistance Dog Week: 4-10
Knights of Columbus Family Week: 4-10
National Resurrect Romance Week: 4-10
Exercise with your Child Week: 4-10
National Fraud Awareness Week: 4-10
Single Working Women’s Week: 4-10
Exhibitor Appreciation Week: 5-9
Intimate Apparel Week: 5-9
National Bargain Hunting Week: 5-11
Psychic Week: 5-9
Sturgis Bike Rally: 5-11
National Hobo Week: 8-11
Elvis Week: 10-16
Feeding Pets of the Homeless Week: 11-17
Weird Contest Week: 11-17
National Aviation Week: 15-21
Little League Baseball World Series: 18-24
Minority Enterprise Development Week: 18-24
Be Kind to Humankind Week: 25-31
National Safe at Home Week: 27-30
Daily
1: Girlfriend’s Day
1: Lughnasa
1: National Minority Donor Awareness Day
1: Respect for Parents
1: Rounds Resounding Day
1: Spiderman Day
1: US Air Force Day
1: World Wide Web Day
1: World Scout Scarf Day
2: India Pale Ale Beer Day
2-4: Satchmo Days
3: Braham Pie Day
3-7: International Tree Climbing Day
3: National Mustard Day
3: Watermelon Day
4: Coast Guard Day
4: National Chocolate Chip Day
4: Single Working Women’s Day
4: Social Security Day
4: Friendship Day
4: National Doll Day
4: National Kids’ Day
4: Sister’s Day
5: Assistance Dog Day
5: International Beer Day
5: National Underwear Day
6: Hiroshima Day
6: National Fresh Breath Day
6: National Night Out
7: Lighthouse Day
7: Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day
7: Professional Speakers Day
7: Purple Heart Day
8: Eid-Al Fitr
8: The Date to Create
8: Happiness Happens Day
8; Odie Day
8: Sneak Some Zucchini Onto your Neighbor’s Porch Night
9-11: Kool-Aid Day
9: International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
9: Veep Day
10: National Duran Duran Appreciation Day
10: National Garage Sale Day
10: Smithsonian Day
10: S’mores Day
11: Ingersoll Day
12: IBM PC Day
12: International Youth Day
12: Sewing Machine Day
12: Vinyl Record Day
13: International Left Hander’s Day
14: National Navajo Code Talkers Day
14: V-J Day
15: Best Friends Day
15: Chauvin Day
15: National Relaxation Day
16: Hug Your Boss Day
16: Joe Miller’s Joke Day
16: Men’s Grooming Day
16: National Airborne Day
17: International Geocaching Day
17: International Homeless Animals Day
17: Meaning of “Is” Day
17: National Thrift Shop Day
18: Bad Poetry Day
18: Birth Control Pills Day
18: God’s Preeminence Day
18: Mail Order Catalog Day
18: Serendipity Day
18: World Daffodil Day
19: Aviation Day
19: “Black Cow” Root Beer Float Day
19: World Humanitarian Day
19: Cupcake Day
21: Earth Over Shoot Day or Ecological Debt Day
21: National Medical Dosimetrist Day
21: Poet’s Day
21: Senior Citizen’s Day
22: Southern Hemisphere Hoodie Hoo Day
22: Be an Angel Day
23: Day for the Remembrance of the Slave trade & Its Abolition
23: Valentino Day
24: Pluto Demoted Day
24: Vesuvius Day
24: William Wilberforce Day
24: National Waffle Day
24-25: International Bat Night
25: Founders Day
25: Kiss and Make Up Day
25: National Second-hand Wardrobe Day
26: National Dog Day
26: Women’s Equality Day
27: “The Duchess” Who Wasn’t Day
28: Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day
28: Radio Commercials Day
28: Crackers Over the Keyboard Day
29: According to Hoyle Day
29: International Day Against Nuclear Tests
29: More Herbs, Less Salt Day
29: National Sarcoidosis Awareness Day
29-9/9: XV Paralympics Games
30: National Holistic Pet Day
30: National Toasted Marshmallow Day
31: Love Litigating Lawyers Day
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