Workforce Health | By | 04/23/18 | 2 Minute Read

The Secret to Health Isn’t Standing–It’s Moving

This probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard that sitting for too long is bad for your health—contributing to serious health risks including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. There is even recent research that suggests potential memory problems for middle-age and older adults due to being sedentary. But it turns out that standing, too, can lead to a slew of health concerns. A 2017 study revealed that workers who primarily stood at work were twice as likely to suffer from heart disease compared to those who sat. So what’s the trick to helping your employees avoid the serious health risks associated with a sedentary work life? Move more!

If your daily routine involves sitting at a desk with a few bouts of standing for eight hours, and occasionally squeezing in brief gym visits, it’s time to get up and move. Not just during a workout, but throughout the day. Research suggests adding just two minutes of walking for each hour of sitting, in combination with 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week, could be enough to increase life expectancy.

Here are four ways to move more throughout the day and start racking up steps – be sure to share these with your employees:

Get up to talk: Instead of pinging a co-worker with an email, instant message, or phone call, move your feet! It’ll feel good to use your legs and get some real face-time with your team. And chances are that when you lead by example, seeking out face-to-face time with colleagues, others will follow suit.

Try a walking meeting: Turn your regular meetings into walking meetings instead. This change of pace will not only crank up people’s step counts, but also help get them some energy-boosting fresh air, too.

Stretch inspiration: Hang up posters around the office featuring easy stretches employees can do at their workstation that don’t take up a lot of space, like shoulder stretches and lifts. These posters can act as a nice reminder to get up and move throughout the workday, and serve as a helpful tool to guide employees through stretches using the proper form.

Schedule onsite workouts: Organize group workouts during lunch or at another convenient time for employees. Ask around to see if anyone would be interested in leading a class, or turn on a workout video that everyone can follow. Make sure to send out calendar invites so people have no excuse not to join when the time rolls around.

This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.

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Read our "Definitive Guide to Staying Active at Work" e-book for tips on sneaking in steps during any workplace situation.

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From the blog archives: The Magic of 10,000 Steps

Fitbit put this goal on the map globally in 2009. Since then medical experts around the world agree that 10,000 is a healthy number for which to aim.


A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggests that accruing more steps per day (up to ~10 000 steps/d) were consistently associated with lowering the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.