Don't become a cube potato: Get out of your chair and get healthy

Gadgets, apps, and sneaky tricks for a healthy lifestyle

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Make technology your ally

This must be casual Friday

Picture courtesy of netstrolling

It may have begun to occur to you that your computer is in cahoots with your chair. After all, you wouldn't be in that chair if you didn't have to look at your computer, now would you? But you can turn your computer (and other gadgetry) to the goal of keeping moving and keeping fit.

Amy Calhoun Sanchez, a physical therapist at a Los Angeles hospital, recommends a program called Ergo Pro. "It is on a timer and automatically pops up every 20 minutes and has the person do a few exercises before returning to their screen," she says. "People tell me that they did not realize how fast 20 minutes went by. They realized that they were sitting in place much longer than they thought before getting up."

Gadgets can also help incite (literally) healthy rivalry among formerly sedentary co-workers. "Investing in an inexpensive pedometer to track the number of steps you take in your workday and challenging your department or company makes for a great competition," says Keri Cawthorne, owner of Iron Mountain Movement. "Employees taking in the challenge would have to find creative ways to add exercise to their day, encouraging them to take the stairs, take the long way around if they were on an interoffice errand, or getting out and about at lunch." And if you don't want to shell out for another doodad to carry around, you can always download one of the many available iPhone pedometer apps.

And finally, physical therapist thinks that computer geeks can get fit with good old fashioned video games -- the kind that get you to move around. "I am not kidding when I say this, I met with an executive group of a large company last week and the HR Benefits Coordinator mentioned looking into paying employees to play Wii Fit," physical therapist Bryce Taylor says. "Now I don't know if she was referring to the onsite fitness center or possibly a break room setup -- whatever the case, that's forward thinking."

Next page: Social network your way to fitness

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