How did you spend your last 24 hours? How many hours did you spend sitting down compared to standing up? What type of movement did you do?
Incidental physical activity, AKA incidental exercise, refers to any small form of movement that accumulates throughout the day, resulting in an increased level of daily activity. This form of activity relies on your daily choices.
Technically speaking, we shouldn’t call it incidental exercise, as exercise is a planned and purposeful physical activity performed with the intention of acquiring fitness or other health benefits, for example going to the gym or playing a sport.
When you’re moving from a sedentary lifestyle to something more active, sometimes it’s nice to have a little reminder of all the extra stuff you could be doing to burn more calories each day. An easy way to start is to begin standing more and sitting less, not only does this help correct bad posture, but it encourages movement throughout the day.
Here are some more suggestions you may like to incorporate into your daily routine in order to see improvements in your fitness and body’s general wellbeing:
- Taking the stairs instead of the lift/elevator
- Walk or cycle instead of driving where possible
- Ditch the remote, walk to the TV when you want to change the channel
- Move, stretch or foam roll while watching TV
- Park further away from the shopping centre’s doors
- Play with your children rather than watching them
- Try not to sit for more than an hour during the day
- Stand on the bus or train rather than sit
- Leave your phone in another room
- Quit relying on UberEats – cook your own food
- Actively walk around with your dog, or even walk an extra block
- Get off the bus/tram two stops early
- Go for a walk on your lunch break
- Walk to your colleagues rather than email or phone
- Get an app on your phone or a fitbit as an activity tracker
Why not print this out and pin it to the fridge where you can’t hide from it. Combine these ideas with your planned exercise workouts, and you may start to feel happier and healthier.
The more you move, the more calories your body will burn!