Are You An Active Couch Potato?

Written by: LeAnn McCusker, Health Fitness Specialist

Physical inactivity is pervasive throughout a typical person’s day. Many people sit behind a desk for hours at a time (6-8 hours each day) and commute (via sitting in a car, train, or bus) for up to 1-3 hours per day as well. The typical person may also spend their “free” time at home surfing the web, on social media, or watching TV another 2-3 hours per day. All this time sitting adds up fast, equaling a large portion of your day.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardiorespiratory exercise training each week, or 75 minutes of vigorous cardiorespiratory exercise training each week. However, a regular exercise program may not be enough to reconcile the shortage of physical activity throughout the rest of each day. Have you heard the term “Active Couch Potato”?

Even for those who meet the recommended 150 minutes a week per the physical activity guidelines, if the remaining 6,570 award minutes are spent in sedentary behavior there is still an increased risk for lifestyle related diseases.

There are many ways to reduce the amount of time spent being sedentary. Take a break from your TV. At every commercial break, stand up and move around. At work, set a timer to remind yourself to get up and move around every 30 minutes. Have you heard the old adages, “take the farthest parking spot” and “always take the stairs”?  These really do have value to help you increase the amount of time spent moving each day. Try following them for a week and see how you feel!

You may also try tracking your “steps” or movement daily via a pedometer or activity tracker. This is an effective way to hold yourself accountable and an excellent reminder to keep you moving throughout your day.

This month, our content writers provide you tips and education on how to reduce health risks by minimizing sedentary time and maximizing active minutes with healthy choices.

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