Tuning in to public radio this weekend, we came across an interesting interview about the many health effects stemming from Americans' increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Dr. James Levine, a physician at the Mayo Clinic, has studied how average daily activity has changed for people in just the last two or three generations, as our society has moved from one centered around manual labor to one that enables – some might even say encourages – a more sedentary lifestyle.
Dr. Levine is one of many physicians concerned about how this less active lifestyle affects our bodies and health, and the conversation with him touched on several interesting ways to add more activity into our daily routines.
You’ve probably heard before the recommendation to boost daily activity by taking the stairs when possible, or changing your habit of seeking out parking spots that minimize required walking. Dr. Levine endorses these sorts of changes, along with more dramatic changes, such as installing a treadmill at one’s work station, or conducting work meetings while walking around your office park or city block.
Dr. Levine says that changes like these can burn calories, counteract fatigue, and improve mental performance. And an added bonus? Dr. Levine says meetings conducted on foot are just as productive as traditional office meetings – but average 10 fewer minutes in duration.