Do you work at a desk? If you're like most U.S. office workers, you're probably spending too much time sitting and not enough time moving.
According to a 2013 study by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), two-thirds of U.S. office workers experience physical pain on the job with some frequency, and sitting at a desk for long hours is one reason for that. (You can calculate the amount of time you spend sitting each day at JustStand.org.)
"Sitting at a desk all day can take a serious toll on your body, and with busy work schedules and full family lives, many office workers don't seek help to prevent or treat their pain until it reaches the point where it interferes with their ability to do their job without the added distraction of constant pain," added Dr. Rob Danoff, an AOA board-certified family physician with Aria Jefferson Health.
The only way to counteract the extended time spent sitting is to move around more throughout the day in addition to your regular exercise routine. [See Related Story: 4 Healthy Habits That Will Make Your More Productive at Work]
How to get moving in the office
Ready to add some more activity to your workday? Here are six ways you can incorporate movement into your daily routine.
Use a sit-stand desk: Sitting less and standing more add variation in your movement, which, in turn, can increase energy levels, burn extra calories, tone muscles, improve posture and speed up metabolism, according to JustStand.org.
Work at a treadmill: Positioning your work space over a treadmill will keep you moving all day, helping to significantly reduce the health risks of stagnancy, according to Work While Walking.
Get an exercise-ball chair: Prevention Magazine says that, when used correctly, sitting on a stability-ball chair will help improve posture while constantly engaging core muscles to keep you balanced.
Stand up and stretch: Employees should set an alarm on their calendar or phone for every 30 minutes as a reminder to take a stretch break, according to the AOA.
Take the road less traveled: If possible, don't take the elevator when arriving at the office, says the AOA. Instead, take a few extra minutes to climb the stairs to get your blood flowing.
Visit a neighbor: Instead of emailing or calling, walk to a colleague's desk to speak with him or her in person. For longer conversations, the AOA advises hold a walking meeting.
Additional reporting by Chad Brooks. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.