Dr. Hatipoglu recommends walking a minimum of 5,000 steps on weekdays and aiming for 10,000 steps on weekend days. She offers these tips to help you achieve those goals:
1. Wear a fitness tracking device.
It’s one of the best ways to avoid a sedentary day, Dr. Hatipoglu says.
“It’s extremely eye-opening for my patients when they use these devices,” she says.
2. Consider getting a dog.
Dr. Hatipoglu doesn’t prescribe dogs. But she says she often hears from patients that a four-legged friend is their best motivator to walk.
3. Take regular exercise breaks.
If you sit at a desk for long periods, set an alarm every hour and get up and move around for three to five minutes.
4. Park far away from the office or store.
“As much as you dread it, it forces you to walk,” she says.
5. Take the long way.
Instead of walking the shortest distance to a meeting or even to a colleague’s desk, take a longer route to get more steps in.
6. Try chair yoga.
When you are sick or on a tight deadline, it’s harder to find time to walk. But taking a few minutes several times a day to do chair yoga or other sitting exercises can help.
7. Share chores for exercise.
If you are a caregiver, don’t do all the chores for the person in your care. Encourage the patient to get up and move around as much as possible every day. Or, if you have a caregiver, make an effort to get up and help yourself as much as you can.
8. Enlist the help of a physical therapist.
If your inactivity is becoming more permanent than temporary, get help to get yourself back up to speed.
Dr. Hatipoglu says the study is eye-opening in further illustrating the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle.
“I think this is an amazing study and I will be sharing it with my colleagues and patients of all ages,” she says.