I work at a desk. On a computer. All day. Sometimes I find it’s been hours before I get up and move. When you are mostly sedentary all day because of your job, it’s often difficult to find ways to get your body moving. At least, that’s been true for me.
Along with being sedentary comes (for some of us at least) unwanted weight gain. But more than that, I know I need to be more active. I’ve heard people saying that sitting is the new smoking. I’ve never had a desire to smoke and experience that damage to my body. But sitting? Can it really be that bad?
So, when a friend of mine issued a 300,000 steps challenge for the month of September, 10,000 steps a day, I took it on. I bought myself a pedometer that tracks my steps, and because I entered my height and body weight, it tracks my calories burned as well.
I chose to use a Fitbit Zip. A small tracker that syncs with my phone via Bluetooth to keep a record of my activity. I can sync it with my home computer as well, using the small USB receiver that came with it. I tuck it in a pocket or on my waistband as soon as I get dressed in the morning.
Since starting the challenge on Sept. 1, I have worn my Fitbit every day. When the month started, I was working to hit 5,000 steps a day. My goal each day was just to walk more steps than I did the day before. I mostly succeeded, and on Sept. 9 had my first 10,000-step day.
I am paying more attention to getting out of my chair and walking to a colleague’s desk to ask them a question rather than picking up the phone or sending an email. I am more conscious about taking the stairs rather than the elevator. I now park my car in the distant parking lot at work. And I’m more motivated to get out and take a walk to add to my step count.
I can’t say anything magical has happened, but I feel better knowing that I am more conscious of my health. I am happy to be more aware of my physical movement. And best of all? I can see that little steps can make a big difference.