Remember when you were a kid and your mom said “go outside and play.” Get moving! Believe it or not, your mom was on to something. Andrew Lafrenz, Ph.D., Concordia University Exercise and Sports Science associate professor and researcher, conducted a large study in the workplace showing the importance of even small amounts of movement on one’s overall health and happiness.
Participants in the study spent their work days sitting at desks. The workers were given timers and instructed to take two- to three-minute movement breaks every hour. Those who took as little as two to three minutes every hour to stretch and move were more productive, had higher job satisfaction and experienced reduced blood pressure.
“People often ask me how to drastically change their health by starting an exercise program or changing their diet,” he said. “My advice is to listen to your mother. Get off the couch, move a little bit every hour, eat your vegetables and spend more time with your family and friends.”
There is a similar link between activity and good health in children. In a study of health in children, he found that children with higher parental engagement, who ate meals as a family and who participated in school clubs and sports were much more physically active, had better nutrition, and they had lower rates of disease.
“We all know we’re not supposed to remain seated for hours on end,” pointed out Karen Morgan, assistant professor of Exercise & Sports Science and director of Physical Activity courses at Concordia. Many apps – designed for adults, families and children – have been created to remind you to get up for that much needed break.
“Some of our favorite free apps can be downloaded to your phone, computer or other device to remind you to take breaks from sitting at a desk too long,” she added. Those include: Stand up! The work break timer and Awareness.
“Try some Pokemon Go in the Concordia Neighborhood and at Concordia University,” she suggested.