Students in the Exercise Science program at the University of New Mexico have created a lifestyle program, “Don’t Sit, Get Fit,” that encourages people to stay active in all aspects of their life.

If you’re like most people, you probably spend the better part of your day sitting at a desk, driving to and from work and parked in front of the TV all evening. Research shows that the average American spends nine to 10 hours of their day sitting, which is bad for general health, even if you exercise moderately five days a week.

Being sedentary can slow down metabolism, which affects the body's ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat, which can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer and premature death.

The “Don’t Sit, Get Fit,” program provides tips on how we can work physical activity into our daily routine at work, school or at home. There is a list of 32 small lifestyle changes to become more active at work such as stand up every 30 minutes; do some calf-raises or leg extensions; take the stairs instead of the elevator and so on.

UNM professor Len Kravitz has written three different articles for the website regarding the value of being active and how it improves quality of life. He explains how small changes can address the obesity epidemic and how sitting for long periods of time can affect your health.

“Moving more and adding physical activity throughout your daily life is one of the greatest health benefits a person can do every day,” Kravitz said. “Start today.”

Kravitz is the program coordinator of Exercise Science and a researcher at UNM. He has won many prestigious fitness awards including the “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” award and the 2009 Canadian Fitness Professional “Specialty Presenter of the Year” award.  

For ways that you can become more active, visit Don’t Sit, Get Fit.