Why should we move more at work and throughout the day?

Get up and Move:

Researchers have discovered a number of negative effects from our sedentary office work -
  • sitting at the computer
  • sitting in meetings
  • talking on the phone
  • sitting at conferences.

Your Muscles: 

fishpie_05When we don’t move we have a lack of muscular contractions leading to muscle atrophy and overall weakness.  Our abdominal muscles get weak and “flabby” if we don’t use them to support our posture.1
  • Try getting up to move every 20 minutes with a timer on your computer
  • See your physical therapist for more exercise ideas


Find out more on the How Page.

With sitting our muscles get tight from staying in one position such as our hip flexors, shoulder and neck muscles. (picture for each muscle)1
  • Try this – Move




Find out more on the How Page

Your Joints: 

When we don’t move our joints get stiff as movement helps to bring fluid to the tissues to keep things mobile. 1
  •  Try Standing every 20 minutes for 1 minute

Your Bones:

Our bones become brittle if they are not stimulated with some weight bearing activity such as walking.  With increased sitting time at the office our bones can become weaker. 1
  •  Consider a treadmill work station

Your Heart: 

With decreased movement and muscular activity blood flows more slowly which can be related to higher cholesterol.  With sedentary activity there is a greater risk for high blood pressure cardiovascular disease.  With slower blood flow – oxygen moves more slowly through our systems which can result with fatigue. 1
  •  Try a walking work meeting

Your Brain: 

In sitting we are not in motion and our brain responds to this by slowing down too.  The chemicals that help us feel good and focus on tasks slow down with sitting for long periods of time.  With long period of sitting we are also at risk of depression.4
  • Consider standing periodically while you work at your desk.


Neville et al. (2010) have found evidence that sustained periods of sitting have biological complications such as a loss of muscular contractions leading to the reduction of skeletal muscle lipoprotein lipase activity and a resultant depression in glucose absorption. The reduction of muscle lipoprotein lipase activity has also been found to result in a decrease in triglyceride uptake and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol production, which is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular problems.2


1. Owen, Neville et al. Too much sitting: the population-health science of sedentary behaviour.  Exercise Sport Science Review.  July 2010; 38(3):105-113.
 2Owen, Neville et al. Too much sitting: the population-health science of sedentary behaviour.  Exercise Sport Science Review.  July 2010; 38(3):105-113.