University of Missouri Extension is taking a stand (or a walk) for being more physically active throughout the day. Dr. Steve Ball, state extension specialist and associate professor of nutrition and exercise physiology now has a treadmill desk. This allows him to practice what he teaches by walking on a treadmill while he works at his appropriately elevated desk.

But what about those of us who cannot afford the cost or space of such a desk? There are still lots of ways to fit activity into our busy days. Here are just a few ideas.

Use a cordless, wireless or hands-free phone and walk while you talk – around the house, pace the office/corridor, or step out from the tractor and cross the field. Stand or march in place instead of sitting during teleconferences at work or while watching TV at home. Do some lunges (make sure the knee doesn’t go past the toes!). Use lunch and other break times to take a walk – in the building, around outside, up/down stairs, or across a field. March in place while sitting at your desk. Do some seated knee ups – sit on the edge of the chair, tighten abdominal muscles to pull one or both knees to chest and lower slowly. Do push-ups – on the floor, at a desk or against a wall. Do triceps dips – sit on the edge of a stable chair, place hands on the chair seat on either side of you; move your feet forward; and, holding your weight on your hands, dip down slowly a short ways and come back up. Do calf stretches or toe raises – sitting, point your toe and hold for 10-20 seconds, then pull your toes back and hold; to add the resistance of your weight to this, stand and do the same motion, rising up on the toes then coming down slowly. Work your shoulders – circle them forward and back, shrug them (squeeze those muscles!), pull them forward then squeeze your shoulder blades back. Lift your arms in the front, sides, and overhead; add weights, or water bottles for more resistance

Here are some links to other exercises appropriate at or near a desk, or wherever one might have to sit for prolonged periods of time.

Fitting fitness in daily takes some intentionality, but is possible and can make our lives better: reduce stress, lose weight, have better focus, and have enhanced job satisfaction. This sma