'Get fit don't sit' campaign urges office exercise to fight diabetes

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An American Diabetes Association effort aims to get workers walking, stretching and moving at the office to keep fit. (KABC)

At some offices, workers are asked to head to the lobby for "stretch and flex."

Is this happening where you work? According to the American Diabetes Association initiative "Get Fit Don't Sit," it should.

While stand-up and treadmill desks seem to be growing in popularity, the majority of the workforce is sitting down on the job.

Research indicates the average American sits more than seven hours a day, so it is time to take steps to change that.

It doesn't take much. To start simply get up once every 90 minutes to stretch or walk around the office.

Here's seven more ways to move it:

Take the stairs instead of the elevator. You know that one!

If you take public transport, get off one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way

Stand up during conference calls.

And try a few easy chair exercises that aren't too embarrassing.

Then fidget a bit. Tap your foot, jiggle your leg. It all helps.

"Is there one place that it is feasible for you to walk but you just don't?" asked bio-mechanist Katy Bowman.

The author of "Don't Just Sit There," Bowman says even better posture helps health.

She said about leaning on the back of the chair: "I've outsourced the work of my torso to the back of my chair."

For a stronger core, sit up straight away from the chair back.

Trainer Rufus Dorsey says it is small movements that make a big difference.

"I've been living with diabetes for over 20 years now. I'm just a big advocate of getting people up and getting them moving," said Dorsey.

"When you're sitting down at work for seven - eight hours a day just do something every couple of minutes," he suggested.

Examples: chair squats, thigh strengthening leg lifts, calf raises, nothing too crazy.

American Diabetes Association's Tracey Hecht says movement combined with healthy eating can help prevent type 2 diabetes.

"Diabetes is somewhat of a gateway so unfortunately it opens the door to many other things - complications with liver, heart disease, amputations and blindness," said Hecht.

The ADA campaign rallies desk workers everywhere to get up every 90 minutes and move, which still allows for getting work done.
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