20/20 – Day 6: 20 excuses to move

Not everyone plays sport. Not everyone gets up from where they’re sat every hour to stretch.  Not everyone thinks to move around as much as they probably should.

Today’s 20/20 post contains simple excuses to get up and move. Because we all need to be active sometimes.

  1. When you make a phone call. Don’t just sit there, walk as you talk.
  2. Make a cup of tea or coffee. While waiting for the kettle to boil, walk around the room. If the room’s big enough, of course!
  3. Walk to town. Some walking wellbeing before the retail therapy.
  4. Jog to campus. Not suitable if you’re laden with books.
  5. Change position as you change task. Even if you’re due to continue working in the same place, give each task a physical break point as well as a mental one.  Not only does it get you out of your seat, it also separates the tasks you’re working on.
  6. Move when you lack inspiration. You don’t need to go very far.  Just move away from the space you were occupying.  Think of it as a reset button.  You may not need a total reboot, but you’d like to return to your default settings again.
  7. Get physical when you are tired. Jump up and down, spin around in circles, do something to wake yourself up again.
  8. When you need the toilet. Fair enough, you’ll move whether you like it or not.  But don’t wait, just use the excuse to get active. If you’re on campus, don’t automatically use the nearest convenience.  Walk to one further away.  Every step helps.
  9. Post a letter. There’s bound to be a postbox near to you. A quick walk to the postbox is a great excuse to move. Don’t wait until you’re going past it anyway.
  10. Get off bus one stop early. Walk the rest of your journey. I wouldn’t advise getting off one stop late.  I did that once and found that the next stop was 15 miles away!
  11. Use stairs, not the lift. For many of us, the automatic choice between taking the stairs and catching a lift is the lift option.  Each time you make tracks toward the lift, look for the stairs. If you want a challenge, try to beat the lift.  I expect you could most of the time.
  12. Cook from scratch. You won’t go far with a microwave meal. There aren’t many steps to the front door to collect that pizza you’ve just ordered.  By making your own food, you have to get active in the kitchen.  Okay, it’s not aerobics, but the movement will still do you good.
  13. Schedule it. What more excuse do you need? Once you schedule an activity it’s only a lack of willpower that can get in the way. I say ‘only’…
  14. When you’re thinking. Time spent exercising your mind can be time spent exercising your legs.  Every time you’re engaged in lengthy thought, get walking.
  15. Get up and dance! Music doesn’t have to be listened to in a sitting position.  Stand up, move about, you could even dance.  Although perhaps not in public.
  16. Move your phone away from you. Your phone is like another limb.  But it doesn’t need to live in your pocket all the time.  Put the phone on the other side of your room while you work on other things.  You’ll then get up and move every time you receive a message.  It could get annoying, but surely that’s more reason to ignore the phone or switch it off, rather than stick it back in your pocket again!
  17. Shower instead of bath. Easier on the environment, easier for you to get moving.
  18. Tidy!
  19. Set an alarm.  Every 20 or 30 minutes, set an alarm so you can walk around the room a couple times.  A simple alternative to scheduling the exercise.
  20. Stand/fidget as you work.  Sedentary work may not require much movement, but who said you had to sit down and stay perfectly still?  Get your fidget on!

Title image: original by tiffa130 (cc)  /  Bottom image: NeoGaboX (cc)


  1. Great post! I’ll definitely use some of this advice in periods when I have to study a lot. It’s easy to forget to move in such periods!

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