Open a PDF version to print this topic

HealthInfo West Coast-Te Tai Poutini

Getting more activity into your day

Mahia te mahi korikori

Keeping active is one of the best things you can do for your health. A busy life can make it hard to find time to go to the gym or play sport. But there are lots of little ways you can sneak more movement into your day without it being a chore. Try some of the following tips.

Park your car further away than you need to

Rather than trying to park as close to your destination as possible, park a little further away and walk. Not only will you be more active, it will probably be less stressful parking further away as you won’t be battling for a park with everybody else.

Go for a walking meeting

A walking meeting can be fun and get your creative juices flowing. Fresh air and blood pumping to your brain is great for problem solving too.

Sit less, move more

Sitting for long periods isn't good for your health. So, any chance you get, stand and move around. This can be anything from standing during a meeting to standing while you're on the phone. You can even set your phone timer to remind you to stand up every half an hour. If you have a health condition that means you can't stand (like if you use a wheelchair or have limited mobility), try doing regular chair-based activities like Sit and Be Fit, wheelchair circuits or sports.

See this video about why sitting is bad for you.

You can install the Rise & Recharge app. The app can track the time you spend sitting and remind you to get up every 20 to 30 minutes.

Move while watching TV

Stand up and stretch when the ad breaks come on TV. Or try walking on the spot or riding an exercise bike while watching TV.

Use the things furthest from your desk

Use the bathroom that's furthest from your desk or even better one that’s on a different floor. Do the same with the printer, coffee maker and water cooler.

If it’s less than 1 km away, walk

If your destination is less than 1 km away, rather than driving, walk, jog or bike. You’ll feel good and save petrol.

Get out of your workplace at lunch

Go for a walk or run during your lunch break. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, you’ll feel great, have a change of scenery and be recharged for the afternoon.

Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator

Ditch the lift and escalator and take the stairs. If you take the escalator, walk up it.

Get off the bus or train one stop earlier and walk

This is another great way to sneak more activity into your day and you might save some money too.

Play with your children

Turn off the TV and play a game of hide and seek, tag or go bike riding. Not only will you be more active, but you’ll have a whole lot of fun too.

On the next page: Active children

Adapted from Health Navigator by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Page created May 2020.

Page reference: 110310

Review key: HIKEA-53695