The Best Ways To Incorporate Movement Into Your Daily Routine

It can get pretty tiring sitting around all day, don't you think? Between commuting, working, taking meals, and unwinding on the sofa at the end of the day, finding the time to get up and move isn't always easy. On average, Americans spend 10 hours a day sitting (per Get America Standing), but it wasn't always this way. In 1960 nearly half of the national workforce held a physically active job — a number that has plummeted to less than 20% over the last few decades (per Johns Hopkins Medicine).

It's no secret that our bodies aren't designed for a sedentary lifestyle. Yale Medicine reports that too much sitting can lead to early muscle fatigue, a weakened core, tightened hip flexors, lower back pain, and reduced spine flexibility. Perhaps even more concerning, Mayo Clinic notes that prolonged periods of sitting have also been linked to a rise in blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol, as well as excess weight gain, and an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.

The situation is not without hope, however. A 2016 analysis published in The Lancet found that 60 to 75 minutes of moderately vigorous exercise a day can counteract the effects of eight hours of sitting. We know an hour-long sweat session isn't doable for every person, but what if instead of checking our social media accounts every hour we used those five minutes more judiciously? Here are a few creative ways you can add a little more movement to your day.

How to move more throughout the day

Commuting to and from work can feel like a big waste of time. Luckily, Anytime Fitness suggests implementing your multitasking skills and transforming that idle period into an opportunity for movement. If at all reasonable, walking or cycling to work is a perfect way to cut down on sitting time and get your heart rate up. If a car or public transportation is your only option, glute and ab clenches are something you can do right from your seat. Just clench the muscle, hold, release and repeat.

Even with your busy workday, there are still plenty of opportunities for you to keep your body moving. Verywell Fit recommends setting a timer to go off every hour or so, reminding you to take five or ten minutes to do some light stretching or take a couple of laps around the office. If you're given a lunch hour, maybe a few minutes of it can be spent taking a walk outside or doing some squats. 

Once you get home, Vogue suggests picking a chore that's on your list and knocking it out. Gardening, washing the dishes, or vacuuming are all great ways to keep you off the couch and work up a sweat. Leisure time can become a little more active too. In other words, you can put on some music and dance around the living room, or hop up and do some jumping jacks during those long commercial breaks.