10 Sneaky Ways to Move More

Incorporating small activity tweaks into your day can help you stay healthy
Published October 30, 2016

Everyone keeps talking about how bad sitting is for us, but sometimes it feels impossible to avoid. We sit in the car or on the train to and from work, then we sit all day at work (unless we have jobs that keep us on our feet), and then when we get home, often all we want to do is sit and relax.

A study published last year in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that prolonged sedentary time was independently linked with damaging health outcomes, such as increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even earlier mortality – regardless of physical activity. So even if you work out for an hour, if you’re sitting the rest of the day, you’re still susceptible to the harmful potential effects of being sedentary. The key to fighting this? Sneak in little bits of movement throughout your whole day and break up your sitting time.

  1. If you find you’re sitting a lot at work, plan to get up regularly: Set alarms on your phone to go off every 30 minutes and do something active for a minute or two – walk to a colleague’s desk to chat instead of writing an email, fill up your water bottle from the office cooler, go grab a coffee, or simply stand up.
  2. Move while doing the mundane: Squat while loading the dishwasher, touch your toes in the shower, or do calf raises while brushing your teeth.
  3. Jog in place, do jumping jacks, or dance during commercial breaks.
  4. Stretch in bed every night: This is a great way to relax and focus on yourself as you get ready to go to sleep, and you can do it right from your bed!
  5. Work in your garden on your day off.
  6. Turn your reading into listening: Try audiobooks if you haven’t already, and go for a walk outside or on the treadmill while you listen to a chapter or two. This is a great way to get moving, and you don’t have to lose any of your leisure time.
  7. Blast some music and dance around the kitchen while cooking.
  8. “Waste” your own time: It might sound silly, but you can move more if you let yourself be a little less efficient when doing things around the house. Take two trips to bring in the groceries instead of one or put away smaller stacks of folded clothes, so you have to make multiple trips. Alternate vacuuming one room upstairs, then one downstairs, so you have to go up and down.
  9. Stand or pace while talking on the phone.
  10. Drink more water: This is a super-sneaky double tip! Drinking more water is in itself good for your body, with potential benefits including an increase in energy and improved skin complexion, but it also helps you move more – the more water you drink, the more you’ll need to get up to go to the washroom.