Written By: Jessica Somar, CHES, Cigna Engagement Director

Have you heard that sitting has been called the new smoking?   An analysis of 13 studies of sitting time and activity levels found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying from obesity and smoking1.    The many responsibilities we face on a daily basis can feel like barriers to getting in movement, but making sure you prioritize moving your body each and every day is so important.  Being physically active is one of the most important actions that you can take to improve your health.2 It could even help you live longer. Any activity that gets your heart beating faster counts as aerobic. Even five minutes of exercise has some health benefit.2

If you have been looking for ways to incorporate more movement into your day, we have some easy tips to help you move more.

Get ready. Have comfortable shoes and clothes in your office, car or home.

Get set: Mark your calendar with times to do fun physical activities.

Go: You’ll feel better in body and mind.

Make it active. Make it fun.

› Take the stairs. Climbing stairs is a great way to increase your heart rate.

› Stand while you work. Consider a standing desk for your office at work or at home.

› Dive right in. Find a health club or community pool and start swimming laps.

› Take a virtual exercise class. Make new friends in a yoga, spinning, dancing or other fun class.

› Get outside. Work in the garden, rake leaves or go for a walk in the park.

› Family matters. Play catch, ride bikes or take a walk before or after dinner.

› Park in the back. Choose a parking spot far away from the entrance to get in more steps.

› Mix it up. Find some new activities and alternate them to keep it interesting.

› Get up early. Greet the new day with 30 minutes of exercise.

› Take a break. Leave your desk and walk around your building or on a nearby path.

› Move and watch. Do some jumping jacks, lunges or free weights in front of the TV.

A great way to jump start getting more physical activity is to participate in this year’s 2021 Wellness A to Z day!   The client and customer engagement team at Cigna is excited to participate in all 5 of the activities that day.  We have been planning what hikes to do, healthy recipes to try, discussing our favorite water bottles for hydrating, planning on taking a few mindful moments while meditating or journaling, and by doing our part to help keep our community safe and slow the spread of COVID-19.  Join us and have fun celebrating health and wellness!

  1. “Sitting risks: How harmful is too much sitting?” https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005 (Aug. 21, 2020)
  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition, 2018.” https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition/pdf/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf (accessed February 15, 2019).


Posted by Annelise Patterson