Fidget for Improved Fitness

by Ryan Halvorson on Aug 24, 2011

Making News

Making time for regular exercise can be a challenge. However, according to a recent study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2011; doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31821e4ff2), even minor bouts of physical activity can improve cardiorespiratory fitness.

Researchers from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, wanted to determine whether “incidental physical activity,” or acute bouts of movement, is associated with cardiorespiratory fitness. In the study, 135 “abdominally obese” men and women were fitted with accelerometry devices to determine their activity levels over 7 days. The information was then filtered into two categories: duration (minutes per day) and intensity (counts per minute). Not surprisingly, individuals who racked up more time and intensity engaging in incidental physical activity on a daily basis were positively associated with cardiorespiratory fitness.

Do you have trouble making the time for a regular exercise routine? Here are ways to up physical activity levels with these tips from Nicole Pizzi, MPH, assistant fitness program manager at Harvard University:

  • Park as far away from your workplace entrance as practicable. Purposely leave something of importance in the car, so you are forced to return to retrieve it at lunchtime.
  • Set up a Facebook group to invite co-workers to join you for a daily walk around the exterior of the workplace or up and down the staircase.
  • If you have a dog, routinely take the animal for a walk as soon as you arrive home.
  • If you work in an office, deliver messages to co-workers in person instead of communicating via e-mail or phone.
  • If you work in a building with multiple floors, use a restroom on a different floor than your own.

IDEA Fitness Journal , Volume 8, Issue 9

© 2011 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson IDEA Author/Presenter

Ryan Halvorson is the associate editor for IDEA Health & Fitness Association; a Performance Specialist at Bird Rock Fit; a Master Instructor for Metabolic Effect and the creator of www.RYAN'Sworkouts....

1 Comment

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  • Martha Videan

    I like the thinking! The more you can keep you feet moving the better. If you can alternate standing and sitting during your work day, do it! The more movement you can support during your day the better you will feel. I have a class participant that shared her story about making many trips to other co-workers areas so she could keep moving instead of one big errand. Her bathroom breaks and water breaks happen at differant times. Many trips make lite work as long as it's not disruptive to the work environment! Have fun, stay healthy and keep moving!
    Commented May 30, 2013