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Move More Month: Healthy Habits Can Start at Work

The American Heart Association suggests taking a walk during lunch to get in more exercise during the workday. (Chuck Taylor/Flickr)
The American Heart Association suggests taking a walk during lunch to get in more exercise during the workday. (Chuck Taylor/Flickr)
April 23, 2019

TACOMA, Wash. — It's Move More Month, and health advocates say the workplace is a perfect spot for people to think about building a healthy routine. Many people spend the workday sitting down, but health experts say there are a lot of opportunities during the day to move around.

The American Heart Association's Healthy for Good initiative suggests taking a walk during lunch, using the stairs instead of the elevator, and treating exercise like an important meeting by adding it to the calendar. Chad Major, an exercise specialist at MultiCare Health System in Tacoma, said people can use Move More Month to examine their habits, but folks shouldn't be too critical of themselves.

"Use examination as a tool for success, not as a tool to critique and kind of like, 'Oh, I should be doing this, I should be doing this, but I'm not,’” Major said. “Use it as a way to, like, 'Oh, I can do this now, and this is a new avenue for me to be able to take advantage of that.' Positive mindsets always have better success."

The American Heart Association suggest adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise.

Major said if step-counting or watching the number of minutes spent exercising holds you accountable, you should do it. But he added the important thing is making sure you’re moving, no matter how long. He also noted 150 minutes of exercise might not happen right way, but even short activities add up.

"Just do a little bit at a time and build on it,” he said. “It's like any habit. Habits don't happen overnight. They take some time to form. So start forming some good habits."

Moving more and sitting less has many health benefits, including lowered risks of heart disease and diabetes. It also can lead to better sleep and fewer bouts of insomnia, fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety and a host of other positive effects.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA