• PALM Centre

Sit less, move more - 12 Simple ways to increase your daily step count.

As society progresses and everything becomes more automated, people simply aren't moving enough. Being sedentary is considered a key risk factor for adverse health consequences including obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Walking confers numerous health benefits, a study on overweight adults showed that walking 10,000 steps a day improved their body composition, thus lowering their risk of cardiovascular disease. The recommended daily step count to be classified as "active" is 10,000 steps. Sadly, many sedentary individuals only manage to clock in an average of less than 5,000 steps a day, half of what is recommended.

The thought of increasing 5,000 or more steps per day may seem daunting and seemingly impossible to some. However, with a few tricks and tweaks to your lifestyle, adding more steps into your daily routine will become more achievable. Whether you're at home or work there's always an opportunity to walk more. Here are some easy tips you can implement to increase your step count.

1) Taking it slow

When packing away the laundry or storing the groceries, do them in small batches to increase the number of trips you have to make.

2) Bottoms up!

Drink more water each day. In addition to keeping your body well hydrated, drinking more water increases your trip to the toilet, thus clocking in more steps.

3) Pace yourself

Ever stuck with a problem you can't solve? Try taking a break and pace up and down the room. It may help with your thinking process and earn some valuable steps too.

4) Take 5

Taking a break from work or study? Instead of heading onto Facebook or Instagram, head outside for a breath of fresh air and take a walk.

5) Pass the message

For simple messages, instead of calling, sending a text or email to your colleague, walk over and deliver the message personally.

6) Let's get social

Publicise your step goal on social media. Not only will it make yourself more accountable to your goal, you might gain positive support as well.

7) DIY

Wash your own car, do your own household chores or gardening. Gain some precious steps while saving money too.

8) Challenge accepted

Have a friendly challenge among your family members, friends or co-workers and see who can clock in more steps.

9) Step it up

Avoid taking the escalators and lifts whenever possible and use the stairs instead.

10) Level up or down

Instead of heading to the nearest toilet or nearest bin to throw your rubbish, try going to one further away. It could mean walking to the end of the building, or in some cases going up or down a level or two.

11) Take public transport or park further away

Commute to work by public transport if possible, to take it up a notch, alight a stop early and walk the rest of the way to your destination. Alternatively, you can park your vehicle further away allowing you to clock more steps to get where you are going.

12) Stand up and walk around during TV commercials

When you're watching television programs at home, make full use of the TV commercials to walk around.

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