First off, says Healy, don’t give up on exercise. Just as a big salad can’t undo a day’s worth of unhealthy eating, a 30-minute run can’t counteract the damage from sitting all day — but it can help. “The most healthy are those that sit least and exercise most; the least healthy are those that sit most and exercise least. So, the message is to exercise, but also think of your physical activity across the day: Stand up, sit less, move more and more often.”
Make Your Move
Secondly, stand up at least every 30 minutes, says Healy. You don’t have to do jumping jacks or run around the block. Simply get up, stretch and walk around to activate your muscles.
Be a Clock Watcher
If you get lost in your work, set a timer to remind you to take breaks every 20 to 30 minutes. Download a free timer app, like SnapTimer, to your desktop to use as an instant alarm clock.
Practice Good Hydration
Drink plenty of water. This habit forces you to get up at least once an hour to use the bathroom or refill your water bottle.
Take a Stand
If it’s not bothersome to your coworkers, stand up when you take phone calls or file papers. You can also clean and straighten up your desk at the end of each day while standing.
Track Your Every Move
Wear a pedometer. Clipping on a step counter or activity monitor can clue you in to how much you move each day. Wear it for a week to determine how much you usually move; then, set a goal to increase your distance by 10 percent each week.
Tune In, Tone Up