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Are you an Active Exerciser or Inactive Exerciser?

Hospital news | Monday, March 21, 2016

Did you know that even if you achieve 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day, you could still be considered inactive?” asks Tammy Thompson, M.S., RCEP

Cardiac Rehab Manager/Clinical Exercise Physiologist. “This may surprise you and you may think you are doing enough!”

Tammy Thompson adds, “However, the latest research shows that even adults achieving the recommended amount of exercise is not enough to achieve weight loss or maintain a healthy weight. Being active throughout the day in addition to meeting the recommended amount of exercise (a minimum of 30 minutes daily or a minimum of 150 minutes per week) is the key to achieving weight loss or maintaining weight and boosting heart health. Reducing the amount of time that one spends sitting throughout each day is equally, if not more, important than the half hour we dedicate to moderate intensity exercise.”

What is an active exerciser? Active exercisers achieve the recommended amount of exercise in a day, plus are active through other means of activity for more than 75% of the day. Often it is not difficult for the active exerciser to achieve 10,000 or more steps per day.

Inactive exercisers are defined as achieving the minimum recommended amount of daily exercise, but are sedentary for greater than half, if not most of the day. Usually the inactive exerciser achieves less than 5,000 additional steps per day due to sedentary activities making up a majority of their day.

Often an inactive exerciser cannot help but be sedentary if their job involves extended amounts of sitting. The key is to find ways to be more active throughout the day. Here are some suggestions:

  • Take the stairs rather than the elevator.
  • Park further away in the parking lot.
  • If able walk or bike to work.
  • Rather than going to the closest restroom, find one further away.
  • Take frequent breaks from sitting.
  • Try to stand and complete desk work at a tall counter or computer that is able to adjust to various heights.
  • Get up every 20- 30 minutes and walk around your office or just stand and stretch.
  • Consider using half of your break or lunch to go for a walk.
  • Reduce screen time at home (Computer and TV), consider reducing screen time in your home by half and go for a walk or do other movement based activity.

Making a dedicated effort to being active throughout the day will pay off and provide benefit in the long run. Strive to achieve 10,000 daily steps, plus 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise daily and pave your way to long term heart health.

To learn more about Crossing Rivers Health and Crossing Rivers Health Clinics in Prairie du Chien and Fennimore, visit

Please remember- this is applicable to children and adolescents, however the minimum recommended amount of exercise is 60 minutes daily.