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Healthy Minds Healthy College

Staying active throughout the school or workday

January 6, 2012

Did you know that sitting for prolonged periods of time can be damaging to your health?

According to a new article on, several health experts say that new research is suggesting that people who spend the majority of their days sitting – whether it’s in school, at the office, in the car, or in front of the TV – are at higher risk for developing obesity and heart disease even if they exercise regularly.

Some companies are jumping on a new trend to help encourage their employees to stay healthy at work by offering them access to wellness programs and onsite gyms throughout the work day, as noted in a recent CTV interview. These companies have found that their workplace fitness initiatives were having a positive effect, noting their employees seemed “healthier and happier”, and came to work with more awake, alert, and energetic.

So how can those of us who spend the majority of the day behind a desk get more active at school, or on the job? If your workplace or school has an on-site gym, take advantage. If at all possible, try and go when you have a free period or lunch in order to break up all the sitting down you’ll be doing during the day.

Don’t have access to a gym? There are plenty of simple things you can do in the office or at your desk to help increase bloodflow throughout the work or school day:

  • Try swapping out your regular desk chair with an exercise ball, which helps to improve posture and balance
  • Use your breaks to move around; take a quick walk, go outside, anything to get you up and away from your desk
  • Skip the elevator – use the stairs
  • Suggest walking meetings when appropriate instead of traditional table meetings

Check out these articles from ABC News and for more ways to stay healthy and active at work, or watch the video below for easy exercises you can do around the office, or at your desk throughout the school or work day.

Submitted by Hayley Brigg, Creative Communications student