You can get in 15,000 steps a day even if your boss won’t allow a treadmill desk.
There are ingenious ways you can make the step count rack up by the end of the evening.
But to be fair, I will first point out that you should ask your employer if you can have a treadmill desk set up.
If the answer is no, then use a stand-up station. It’s a computer desk that expands vertically to a height where you can work on your keyboard and view your computer.
You can march in place to accumulate steps (high knees not required), or step sideways back and forth.
You may also already be aware of the following tricks to accumulate 15,000 steps a day:
• Take all phone calls while pacing.
• Discuss matters with coworkers while being on your feet, pacing about the room or walking down corridors.
• Walk, don’t e-mail, messages to coworkers.
• Take parking spaces (weather permitting) that require a 10 minute walk to the office and back to your car.
How to Get in 15,000 Steps with Home-Based Tricks
No matter how much TV you watch in a given day, you absolutely must forbid yourself to sit during commercials.
During commercials you are to pace back and forth or in a loop (depending on your home layout).
Let’s take this further. You are to be on your feet during the entire program. But commercials are when you walk as fast as you can about your house.
During the show, you can walk several steps towards the screen, then walk backwards, going forward and back in a confined space to allow you to view the screen.
The several steps forward and backward will count towards your 15,000 total.
During boring moments of the program, take to the room walking or looping once more.
Most TV shows have boring segments or secondary storylines. These are opportunities to get in some actual walking.
If your feet begin aching, the rule is that you get to sit ONLY for five or 10 minutes. But sitting 10 minutes for every five minutes of stepping is cheating big-time.
Use your senses. I recommend that for every 30 minutes you’re on your feet during a TV show, you earn five minutes of sitting time, and 10 minutes if you’re really out of shape.
If you’re about to watch two hours of programming, the same rule applies. If you’re slowly pacing back and forth, forward and backwards, and looping quickly during commercials, you’ll easily accumulate over 3,000 steps during an hour of TV entertainment.
If it gets to be draining psychologically, do some housework during portions of the program that you don’t have to be watching.
Housework never replaces structured exercise, but it will help with accumulating steps while “watching” TV.
For example, during some boring romantic scene or interview, you can water the plants, repot plants, empty the dishwasher, wash the newly-bought fruits and vegetables, vacuum or dust, etc.
You Can Do Almost Anything Standing or Marching in Place
• Detangling freshly washed hair
• Braiding hair
• Folding laundry
• Opening and reading snail mail
• Checking messages on your smartphone
Buy a pedometer so that you can keep a step tally.
The device will not record side to side stepping and may not record all of your marching steps, but a decent device will capture actual walking steps.
Buy a Treadmill Desk for Home
My goodness, this will skyrocket your daily step total. Anything you do on the computer for entertainment or socializing, and even business tasks, can be done on a treadmill desk.
Some tasks may require a 0.5 mph speed, while others you’ll be able to do at 2 mph. Do not hold on, though your arm and hand will make contact with the machine while using the mouse and keyboard.
But during moments your hands are not busy, DO NOT HOLD ON.
Segments of 2 mph walks on a treadmill desk while using the computer at home will seriously rack up your dally step total. You’ll see the tally on your pedometer soar.
If you have a regular treadmill, start each day with a 10 to 20 minute brisk walk. This will give your starting step total a big boost.
Once you get into a habit of accumulating steps, you’ll find that you will easily exceed 15,000 in a single day, sometimes eclipsing 20,000, even if you’re on your can all day at your desk job.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.