Be Less Efficient! 10 Easy Ideas for Inserting More Non-Exercise Activity Into Your Day



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Less efficient is better? This completely counter-intuitive idea makes me nervous. Of course I need to be as efficient as possible. Don’t I? If I can do ten things in one fell swoop, I should, right? It saves my precious time.

But did you know that those who are less efficient in certain kinds of tasking are slimmer than those that compact everything into one action all the time?

But how would multiple trips to do tasks I could do in one really make a difference? The non-sedentary, on average, burn 900 calories more per day than the average desk jockey, through non-exercise activity.

Here are some easy ways to insert a little activity into the workday.

  1. Every hour, on the hour, get up and walk around for one minute. (Set an alarm as a reminder, if necessary, until it becomes a habit.)
  2. Do some mild stretching at your desk.
  3. Do tasks while standing that don’t require your tooshie in the chair.
  4. Do some of those lame airplane “workout moves” at your desk (you know, rolling your ankles, doing calf-raises on your toes, shoulder rolls, etc.)
  5. Stand instead of sitting at meetings (when possible)
  6. Stand instead of sitting during meals (but make sure you eat slowly to keep your intake down!)
  7. Drink a lot of water (this has many added benefits, and causes you to get up more often for multiple reasons)
  8. Park at the far end of the parking lot, instead of close to the door—then all those trips to the car for things forgotten, errand running, meals out, etc., give you a little more exercise
  9. Be less efficient in minor things (when you could carry your load in one or two trips, stretch it out to one extra—unless this will get you in trouble with the boss)
  10. Pace while on the phone.

Wednesday’s Accomplishments:

Ate fairly healthy, sang for over 3 hours (burning a few more calories than just sitting or standing alone), and enjoyed lots of green tea. Did not meet my water goals–though was only off by two glasses. Nothing else to report on this.

BUT I’m adding, in advance, my action steps for today. I’m doing 3 in one day this time, because I haven’t been able (or was that willing?) to do any in the last couple of days.

  1. Research the amount of time I should train in each HR zone for best results (fat loss and endurance)
  2. Force myself to go to bed earlier and earlier, that I can rise earlier and earlier
  3. Add in “feelings after” comments into my accomplishments journal to keep track of my recovery times, injuries (though hopefully there won’t be any!), etc., as well as motivate myself on other days when I don’t want to work out, because of being reminded of how good I felt FOR doing the workouts
  4. Insert more activity into my days

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