Posts Tagged ‘work physical activity into your day’

How much physical activity do you get each week?

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, the average adult needs at least:

150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity physical activity each week (i.e. aerobic or “cardio” activity that gets you breathing harder and makes your heart beat faster)


75 minutes (1 hour 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity physical activity each week (i.e. aerobic or “cardio” activity that makes your heart rate and breathing increase to a point where it is difficult to talk)

Moderate Intensity Physical Activity examples: Walking briskly (3 miles per hour or faster, but not race-walking), water aerobics, bicycling slower than 10 miles per hour, tennis (doubles), ballroom dancing, general gardening. Vigorous Intensity Physical Activity Examples: race walking, jogging or running; swimming laps, tennis (singles), aerobic dancing, bicycling 10 miles per hour or faster, jumping rope, heavy gardening (continuous digging or hoeing), hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack.

That might seem like a lot of time to spend being active, but it’s really not! Think about the amount of time you spend watching TV each week. Thirty minutes of activity a day, when performed five days a week, meets the guideline. It is the equivalent of five 30-minute TV shows or one to two movies! And, experts say that those thirty daily minutes of activity can be further broken down into 10 minute segments, yet still help prevent disease and reap health benefits.

If you’re not currently meeting the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, consider incorporating short (10-minute) segments of exercise into your workday. There are many exercises that can be done in your office or from home with no equipment required, such as:woman-2819502_640

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Wall sits
  • Planks
  • Knee raises
  • Standing crunches

If you have a sturdy desk or table, you can also do incline push-ups or triceps dips to work your arms. And, if you have a chair nearby for support, you can do leg raises (forward, backward or sideways), donkey kick-backs, or calf raises. To mix things up a little more, use paper plates as sliders and do additional exercises, such as:


  • Mountain climbers
  • Plank jacks
  • Arm circles
  • Standing leg circles
  • Hamstring curls

If you don’t mind working a little harder (i.e. possibly breaking a sweat), either at home or during the workday, you can design your own 10-minute workout using a timing scheme to rotate through a few exercises of your choice. For example, you might choose to do:

  • 45 seconds of an exercise with 15 seconds of rest, repeated 10x (either the same exercise or different ones).
  • 30 seconds of one exercise alternated with 30 seconds of another, repeated 10x.
  • An exercise ladder where you choose two exercises (A & B). Start with 10 repetitions of exercise A followed by 1 repetition of exercise B, working up/down until you end with 1 rep of exercise A and 10 reps of exercise B.

So, next time you think you don’t have enough time in your week to exercise, think again! Strive to incorporate short (10-minute) segments of activity into your day until you achieve at least 150 minutes each week.


Author: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

Reviewer: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu



2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. https://health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/summary.aspx.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). How much physical activity do adults need? https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm.

Moorhead, Rebecca. Work it… At Work: Exercises to Fit Into Your Work Day. Presented on February 14, 2018. Moorhead.41@osu.edu.

Read Full Post »

The Centers for Disease Control recommends we get 30 minutes of exercise a day at least 5 days a week.  However, most people say they don’t have the time.  Between the demands of a busy lifestyle – work or school, family and errands –  it may be difficult to get a trip to the gym into your day.  While we all know it’s important to get physical activity every day, you don’t have to belong to a fitness center to get the benefit of exercise.  Here are ten ways to “sneak” exercise into your daily routine:

At Work –

  • Have a message to deliver to a coworker?  Need to talk to your boss?  Don’t call them or send them an email message.  Get up from behind your desk and walk to their office to talk to them in person.
  • Take a 10 minute brisk walk at lunchtime.  It will refresh you – mind, body and spirit!  If the weather is bad, walk in the halls or around the office.
  • When going to the vending machine or restroom, take a longer route back to your office.  ALWAYS take the stairs instead of the elevator.

At Home –

  • House cleaning is great exercisebikeridegenerations!   Window washing, vacuuming, dusting and doing laundry may seem mundane, but they’re great workouts for different muscle groups.  Wash your car by hand instead of going through an automatic carwash.
  • Instead of grabbing a snack during the television commercials, do some quick stomach crunches, push-ups and jumping jacks.  Dancing counts, too!
  • Practice working on your green thumb.  Gardening is great exercise and gets you outside in the fresh air.
  • Enjoy the great outdoors with your family.  A short hike, bike ride, or simply playing with your children is exercise – and it’s great fun!

In the Community –

  • Don’t park your car in a front row space.  Instead, park as far away as you can from your destination and walk.  If you take a bus or train, get off a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way.  Avoid the drive thru at a fast-food restaurant, pharmacy or bank.  Get out of your car and go inside the building.
  • Standing in line at the bank or grocery store?  Do some calf raises, shoulder lifts, or ankle circles.
  • Enjoy a day at a museum, park, or window shopping.  Yes, it does count as exercise!

Written by:  Jennifer Even, Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Hamilton County.

Source:  The Centers for Disease Control, Recipe4Living Family of Sites.

Read Full Post »