It’s all about micro-movements.
Micro-movements are incremental movements you can make throughout the day that can benefit your overall health. Think of how many times you could add to your day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking a little farther from the office. These simple micro-movements contribute to everyday activity, combating the sedentary lifestyle that comes with office work.
The Science of Micro-movements
NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis, suggests that it takes energy to move even the smallest muscle. Polly de Mille, RN, an exercise physiologist with the Women’s Sports Medicine Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City gives an example: “you burn about 1.5 calories per minute just lying still while your body performs its most basic functions.” Go from lying down to sitting in a chair and answering email, and you’ll burn 25 percent more calories.” 1 Adding micro-movements to your nine-to-five routine makes the calorie-burning process a day-long event.
Micro-Movement Activities You Can Perform at Work
- Stand More While You Work
Regular transitions from sitting to standing and back again maintains flexibility and improves circulation. On average standing can increase your heart rate by about 10 beats per minute higher than sitting and that makes a difference of about 0.7 of a calorie per minute. That burns up to about 50 calories an hour. If you stand for three hours a day for five days that’s around 750 calories! Sit-stand workstations help make standing a part of your daily routine. Find a sit-stand solution that fits your work space.
- Workout at Your Desk
Simple exercises you perform at your desk can burn calories, increase flexibility and improve well-being. Turning your workstation into a workout is an easy, no-sweat approach to exercise.
- Lean back and lift your feet with legs straight, then bend your knees toward your chest, then straighten again. Do three sets of 20 reps and burn up to 75 calories.
- Working your stomach muscles at your desk. Simply clench your stomach muscles for about 8 seconds Two sets of this activity for 8 reps will burn 100 calories.
- See the top five deskercising activities.
- Take Walk Breaks
A study by the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition found that frequent, brief walking breaks were more effective at improving well-being than a single, longer walk before work. Just five-minute walks throughout the workday can lift your mood, reduce lethargy and improve overall health.
- It’s Okay to Fidget
Fidgeting was once frowned upon, but no more. Tapping a foot, wiggling in your office chair may seem odd, but Iowa State University researchers found that those who frequently fidgeted, were burning an additional 300 calories per day compared to those who remained seated and still.
- Take Time to Stretch
Frequent stretching keeps a proper blood and nutrient supply to the working muscles and tissues. Taking a stretch breaks prevents fatigue and discomfort and reduces stress.
Put Your Activity on Schedule
If you need reminders to move, set an alarm on your phone or on your computer. Five minutes every 30 minutes using any of the activities mentioned is an easy way to get moving this spring.