Ball State professor's tips for staying fit and healthy with a desk job

By: NewsCenter 16 Email
By: NewsCenter 16 Email
Stuck working behind your desk all day long while mired in a hectic lifestyle that leaves you no time to hit the gym on a regular basis? There are a few simple ways to burn calories during office hours, says Selen Razon, professor of sport and exercise psychology at Ball State.

(Stock photo)

Stuck working behind your desk all day long while mired in a hectic lifestyle that leaves you no time to hit the gym on a regular basis?

There are a few simple ways to burn calories during office hours, says Selen Razon, professor of sport and exercise psychology at Ball State.

“Long periods of inactivity — including maintaining a sedentary job — increase the risk of various health problems, including cardiovascular disease and cancer,” she says. “I suggest that people do a few simple exercises to get their bodies moving and then stretching and toning at your desk. Moving a little goes a long way.”

Razon suggests:

• Start exercising before arriving at your desk by first parking your car as far away from the building as possible and then walking.

• Take the stairs whenever possible.

• Do exercises at your desk, including flexing arms, legs and abs on 30-second intervals.

• Get rid of a chair and sit on a medicine/fitness ball while working. Sitting on a ball will tone and strengthen your abs.

• Stand up and/or take short walks every 20 minutes at desk. Studies show even simple frequent standing breaks significantly decrease your chances of getting diabetes.

• Exchange the typical desk for one that allows you to stand, which burns more calories.

• Bring gadgets to the office. Hand grippers and stretch cords are relatively cheap and can provide great outlets for keeping active while you look at your screen.

• Use free smart fitness apps such as my fitness pal, pacer-pedometer plus weight management, accelMeter-3D Vector Accelerometer to count for activity

• If you have no smart phone buy and daily use a pedometer or accelerometer

• Stand and stay up as long as you can

• Get a dog to walk to first thing in the morning

• Do vigorous home cleaning once a week before or after work

• Sneak in a light walk during lunch-break

• Put a treadmill or cycle ergo meter in front of television and exercise before or after work while watching
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Razon says incorporating these exercises in your daily work routine could help keep off the pounds.

Nearly 31.5 percent of the American adult population and 31 percent of the adult population of Indiana reports being obese, ranking the state eighth worst nationally in terms of percentage of population severely overweight, says The Burden of Adult Obesity in Indiana.

The study by Ball State's Global Health Institute (GHI) found obesity rates rose by 0.7 percent in the last year.


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