We have written before about why walking matters, but lately we have noticed a large number of studies that makes it very clear that moving, and how often you move, really matters. Recently 43 studies published last month found that the amount of time you spend sitting increases your chance of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The Mayo Clinic has labeled it the “sitting disease.”
Many of us sit at a desk 5-6 hours a day, go home and sit reading or watching television for four hours or more. We may think that our daily workout did the trick, but the studies show that it isn’t enough. We need to get up and move more!
One way to get more movement at work is to try a standing desk (20 minutes standing every hour). We recently got standing desks at our offices, and we see a huge difference. If that isn’t possible, set reminders on your phone, computer, or Fitbit to get up and move around every hour. And make that a habit at home as well.
There are so many other benefits to consider. A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that regular exercise, including walking, reduces the the chance that an older person may become disabled. Other research cites that walking 30 minutes a day will cut the chance of dementia, depression, anxiety, diabetes, high blood pressure and osteoporosis by at least 40 percent!
Finally, a new study found that if you want to lose weight, make your walk fun! French and American researchers gave 56 women a map of a one-mile outdoor course and told them to take a half-hour walk to be followed by lunch. Half were told that it was exercise and that they needed to monitor their exertion. The other half were told to enjoy the walk. Those that were told that it was exercise came back grumpy, more fatigued, and ended up eating more calories then those who were told to enjoy themselves. Carolina O.C. Werle, an associate professor of marketing at the Grenoble School of Management in France, who led the study concluded that, “The more fun we have, the less we’ll feel the need to compensate for the effort with food.”
Despite the mounting evidence of the benefits of walking, the CDC reports that 52 percent of Americans don’t meet the CDC’s recommendation of 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. So if that is the case for you, here are some things that you can do to get moving:
- Plan regular walks with friends and family. Suggest a walk first then a drink or meal afterwards.
- Join a walking group. We started a CameraWalking Meetup group to promote more walking. There are many walking groups on Meetup.com that are in your area, so take a look.
- Turn your coffee or lunch break into a walk. Enlist your colleagues to go with you and enjoy the summer weather.
- Hold walking meetings. You can accomplish a lot by taking your meeting outdoors. Take a look at what walking meetings offer.
- Grab your camera and go Camera Walking! We think this is one of the best ways to achieve better health, fitness, and creativity!
The evidence is in that walking and moving matters! We would love to hear from you as to how you get more movement into your day. Comment below, post on our Facebook page, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org !