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Combat Too Much Sitting With These Quick Workouts

By Rachel Carver

We sit a lot. We sit at our desks to eat and to relax at the end of the day. But sitting too much increases your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. Some people use standing desks, but standing still for long periods is not the answer either.

More movement might be the key. A recent study found that standing up and moving for just three minutes every half hour can combat the negative effects of sitting too much. The Endocrinology and Metabolism Journal study evaluated the way interrupting sitting with movement impacts the fasting glucose and glycemic variability. The fasting glucose simply tells you how much sugar is in your blood. The glycemic variability refers to your changing glucose level over a period of time. The people who moved three minutes every half hour during the study had lower blood sugars and higher amounts of good cholesterol.

Pick one of these workouts to do in your three minutes of movement. They require no equipment, can be done anywhere, and just might help counteract too much sitting. Mix cardio and strength training workouts for the best results.

Jumping Jacks

Requiring very little space, jumping jacks help you quickly get some cardio into your day. Get some in between phone calls at your desk, or while you're waiting for water to boil at home. Rest when you need to, but use three minutes to maximize this quick cardio exercise.

Run the Stairs

Stairs increase your step count and get your heart rate up. Jog up and down the stairs in your home or office. If you don't have stairs, march in place with high knees.


Just a few push-ups can effectively work your arms, shoulders, and core. Start with sets of five or 10. Start smaller if you need to. Take needed breaks, but try to use the entire three minutes. If pushing off of the floor is challenging, you can modify this exercise by standing up and bracing your arms against a wall or countertop.


Planks strengthen your core muscles. Get into your push-up position and hold it. Start with 30-second intervals with a 15-second break. You can modify this by supporting your body with your knees and forearms if needed.

Check the Mail

Simple tasks can get you up and moving. Go outside to your mailbox. The fresh air might wake you up a little. If you're at the office, walking to the mail tray decreases your mail pile and gets you moving.

The Bottom Line

We cannot avoid sitting. But too much uninterrupted sitting can be detrimental to your health. You don't need to spend long hours at the gym to prioritize health. Short, intentional movements throughout the day just might make a big impact in the long run.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Waco, Tex.

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