For many of us, sitting is a big part of our daily routines. We sit at work, at home while watching television, eating dinner, going to the movies, commuting, and relaxing. On average, Americans sit between seven and 13 hours each day.\nRon DeAngelo, MEd, ATC, CSCS, FAFS, Director of the Sports Performance Program at UPMC Sports Medicine, describes the changes in human activity as something that occurred over time. \u201cWe weren\u2019t designed to sit. In prehistoric era, we never sat. As human beings, we were built to be hunters and gatherers on the move. But now, we\u2019re hunters and gatherers in front of a computer.\u201d\nAlthough our society has evolved past the point where everyone gathered their own food, sitting for longer periods of time still has a negative effect on people who do not find other ways to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine.\nSitting Disease\nSitting disease refers to the damaging health effects of an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. In fact, sitting for extended periods of time can shorten the hamstrings, abductors, and hip flexors. The seated position also causes slouching which disengages our body\u2019s core.\nRecent research has found that excessive sitting is linked to more than 24 chronic diseases and health conditions, including:\n\nHeart disease\nDiabetes\nHypertension (high blood pressure)\nObesity\nCertain types of cancer\n\nMovement throughout the work day helps our muscles stay loose, which prevents injury and can help increase productivity. To break up your day, the UPMC Sports Medicine experts recommend getting up every hour to take a walk or do some simple stretches in your workspace.\nHow the UPMC Office Staff Stays Active at Work\n\n\u201cI take the stairs rather than the elevator going to my office or the restroom two floors below.\u201d\n\u201cI do yoga stretches in my office.\u201d\n\u201cI walk over to my coworkers when I have a question or project update instead of email, calling, or instant messaging.\u201d\n\u201cI use the printer on the other side of the office instead of the one closest to my desk.\u201d\n\u201cI go to a Pilates or yoga class over lunch as often as I can.\u201d\n\u201cI take a walk every day over my lunch break. I\u2019ve lost 30 pounds and managed to keep it off!\u201d\n\u201cI use free weights at my desk to do arm exercises.\u201d\n\u201cI sit on an exercise ball to strengthen my core. I alternate sitting on my chair and the exercise ball for time intervals.\u201d\n\u201cI use a standing desk.\u201d\n\u201cI keep a water tumbler at my desk. Every time I empty it, I refill immediately.\u201d\n\u201cI wear a fitness tracker. It counts my steps, alerts me when I\u2019ve been idle too long and reminds me to get up and move. This has made me more aware of my actions when at work.\u201d\n\u201cI schedule time for exercise into my daily calendar.\u201d\n\nAdditional Tips to Get Exercise at Work\nIn addition to these active habits and suggestions, consider adding the tips below into your work routine:\n\nHold a walking meeting or meet and walk outside when weather permits.\nDo squats, lunges, or other exercises while using the copier, fax machine, or microwave.\nSet an hourly timer on your computer to remind you to get up for a walk or stretch each hour.\nKeep a resistance band at your desk for light strengthening exercises and dedicate a few minutes of each hour to stretching.\nIf getting up to use the restroom, talk to a coworker, or grab a snack, take an additional lap around your office.\nUse good posture when sitting.\nStart a challenge with your team using pedometers to measure the most steps taken in a day.\nWhen reading emails or typing, do some arm lifts and stretches.\n\nBy making simple adjustments into your workday routine, you may find that the increase in activity makes you feel better and more productive. To learn more about sitting disease and ways to prevent it, call 1-855-93-SPORTS (77678) or visit the Sports Medicine website.