A study using smartphone ‘accelerometers’ a sensor that automatically records stepping motions, found that women manage only 4,908 steps on average a day, compared to men who rack up 5,982.
So, what can you do to squeeze in some more steps and up your fitness? Our experts share their top tips…
1. Have a walking meeting
Why not take your meeting out of the boardroom and into the fresh air? Not only will this get you moving, but the fresh air and extra movement can get the fresh ideas flowing by mixing up your environment.
“Exercise is a great stress reliever. Taking a walk aids in stimulating anti-anxiety effects, this helps to clear your thoughts and help you to feel more relaxed upon returning to the office,” explains Nutritionist, Cassandra Barns.
2. Purchase a four-legged friend
If you’re struggling to get the motivation to head out for a stroll, maybe you need the nudge of a friend… a four-legged one to be precise. According to research from the journal BMC Public Health, dog owners on average walk 22 minutes more per day compared to those who don’t own a dog.
3. Time it right
Are you exhausted after exercise and this puts you off getting active more often? It could be that you need to adjust the type of exercise you’re doing, depending on what time it is. “To feel refreshed and revitalised try energy forming exercises, such as running or aerobics in the morning and focus on milder activities later in the evening. Try a walk at the end of the day or a yoga session to calm your mind and stretch your muscles,” explains Dr Marilyn Glenville, the U.K’s leading Nutritionist and author of Natural Solutions for Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
4. Go old school
Instead of emailing or instant messaging your colleague, walk over to their desk and speak to them. Use every opportunity you have to get up from your desk and up your step count!
5. Make sure your shoes fit properly
Uncomfortable shoes will definitely not encourage you to be on your feet more often. “Sore feet after even a short walk? This is a common occurrence for those of us who do not have correct fitting shoes, and this can put us off walking altogether. Be sure your foot has enough room in the toe box. There should be a thumbnails width (or about a half inch) between your toes and the end of the shoe. The shoe should be wide enough in the toe that your toes can move freely. Your heel should not slip, and the shoe should not pinch or bind, especially across the arch or ball of your foot,” advises Carnation Footcare Podiatrist, Dave Wain.
6. Don’t be a couch potato
On average, according to Get Britain Standing, Brits sit for an average of 8.9 hours per day. To avoid being in this category try mixing up your route to work or when running errands with the kids, “Rather than jumping in the car, why not leave that bit earlier and take a stroll? It can be a great way to relax and clear your mind too,” says Dave. Then once you get to work, avoid being a desk potato.
7. Get fit with a friend
“To help you squeeze in a work out and see your friends, try and combine both! You could start going for a morning powerwalk, giving you a chance to burn some calories, whilst having a catch up. Or if you have more time, why not help motivate each other at the gym,” says Cassandra.
8. Remind yourself to move
“If you’re a bit of a desk jockey, set a reminder to make sure you have a brief walk around the office to get yourself moving,” advises Dave.
9. Stick with the stairs
Although the escalator or lift may seem more appealing, it won’t be as beneficial to your health. “Whether it's at home, at work or up the shop escalator, always opt to take the stairs,” suggests Dave.
10. Maximise multitasking
Brushing your teeth, chatting on the phone to a friend, or even sending a text can be a great opportunity to get pacing. Think about how you can add walking in to your regular routine.