Take a Stand: How to Start a Movement for More Movement

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Fifty-six. That’s the stunning number of hours per week that we spend sitting, according to the Institute for Medicine and Public Health.

“It is our contention that sedentary behavior is not simply the absence of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, but rather is a unique set of behaviors, with unique environmental determinants and a range of potentially-unique health consequences,” the report reads. This is bad news for students, office workers, mothers checking email, and other desk monkeys.  

The health hazards of sitting include:

● Foggy thinking

● Strained neck and shoulders

● Back problems

● Heart disease

● Obesity

● Premature mortality

Being sedentary is a health risk we can remedy. It'll take some effort, but we can do it. All we have to do is engage our muscles, hamstrings, glutes and abs, and—get up. Heave-ho!

Health experts say that we should be moving toward a goal of four hours of light activity during the workday. So instead of offering politely that your students and colleagues "Have a seat," suggest that your school have standing-up and walking meetings. (See ChoicesStand-Up Challenge!)

Teachers and parents, explain to your kids that their bodies were made to move. Evolution is on their side. Humans evolved to walk and run up to 40 miles a day, not to sit, collapsed, in front of the TV.

Here are a few ideas to start a movement for movement at your school and at home with your family:

● Watch Why Sitting All Day Is Killing You.

● Set sitting time apps and use inactivity-tracking devices to gather data with your class and at-home.

● Model movement yourself. Stand up. Stretch. Unshackle yourself from your desk. Your life depends on it.

● Try these 10 best exercises to do at your desk.  

● Watch the Got A Meeting? Take A Walk TED Talk.

And, my favorite, check out: Your Chair Is Killing You, Here's What You Need To Do To Stop It It's easy; get out of your chair!