Written by: Rachel Djaraher of the University of Pennsylvania

Let’s face it. The gyms are closed, workout classes are cancelled, and we’ve been under a stay at home order for over 8 weeks. Many of us are working from home, which means a lot less walking and a lot more sitting. Living in a city means that many individuals rely on biking or walking to work to get their daily physical activity in. At times it can feel like there are too many barriers to stay active during the pandemic.

The good news is that it’s not too late to start healthy habits!

Using a standing desk can be a great way to prevent yourself from sitting all day. Sitting for 6 or more hours a day has been linked to a 20% higher risk for death, from diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Standing desks can be created by placing your computer on a dresser, or on items that can be found around the house (as pictured below).

(Photo credit: decoist.com)

If you’re interested, you can purchase this to transform any desk or table into a standing desk. Physical therapists recommend alternating between sitting and standing every hour during the workday.

If at all possible, try getting outside during your lunch break for a quick walk or jog. Try listening to a podcast or a fun playlist! If you have young children, bring them along. Just make sure to follow CDC guidelines and maintain a 6-foot distance between yourself and other people.

Break up your day by taking a movement break (as demonstrated below)!

Look for extra ways to add movement for your day:

  • Set alarms every hour to get up and stretch
  • Walk up and down your steps after every 30 minute period of work
  • Schedule a time block in your schedule dedicated to getting active
  • Try taking a walk while you’re on a business call with a coworkerwoman-walking-on-a-street-talking-on-the-phone-with-on-demand ...

(Photo credit: workingsolutions.com)

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity (or a combination of both), preferably spread throughout the week.

At the end of the day, a small amount of activity is better than none. Even light-intensity activity can offset some of the risks of being sedentary. So get active and move your body in any way that feels right for you!

Important resources on COVID-19: 

  • For the latest information and updates on COVID-19 coronavirus in Philadelphia: phila.gov/COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 Text Alerts: Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates to your phone.
  • Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline: Call the 24/7 helpline to speak with a health care professional. 1-800-722-7112