National Get Fit Don’t Sit Day and the Importance of Staying Active

Today’s guest post comes from Jonathan Webb, Vice President, Corporate Alliances and Grants, at the American Diabetes Association. Learn more about the Association and National Get Fit Don’t Sit Day at

Sitting can seem like a necessary evil. Many of us spend our days in a chair (more than 7 hours a day for the average American, in fact), and we feel the effects—sore backs, boredom, bad posture and other annoyances that we often just accept as a part of life.

However, sitting for long periods of time also increases the risk of more serious, potentially life-threatening issues such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Unfortunately, even regular exercise won’t fully offset these effects—studies have shown that the recommended 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week (while still beneficial to your health) cannot undo the damage of prolonged sitting.

To counteract these risks, the American Diabetes Association® recommends that everyone get up and move at least once every 90 minutes. But how to do this when you’re sitting in an office chair, driver’s seat or other sedentary workspace full-time?

That’s why we’re very proud to celebrate our second annual National Get Fit Don’t Sit DaySM on Wednesday, May 4. This day serves as a jumping-off point for all Americans to lead more active lives—beginning with that important commitment to moving at least once every 90 minutes. On this Wellness Day, we encourage companies and organizations to promote healthy lifestyles in whatever way works for their own culture, from hosting exercise classes at the office, to having a steps challenge, to holding walking or standing meetings.

This National Get Fit Don’t Sit Day, we’re also excited to unveil the very first CEO Fitness Challenge, made possible by Garmin. An elite group of CEOs from across the country (including our very own Kevin L. Hagan and Clifton A. Pemble of Garmin) will wear activity trackers all day long on May 4, each competing to get the most steps.

These active CEOs will not only get a great workout, but also motivate and set a good example for their companies and the rest of America. They’ll prove that working in a traditionally sedentary environment doesn’t mean that we have to succumb to the negative effects of sitting—all it takes is a commitment to healthy lifestyles and a little creativity. Be sure to tune in and watch their progress at!

Ready to get your company involved? Healthy employees are more likely to be happy employees—but promoting health at the workplace doesn’t necessarily require expensive purchases (i.e., treadmill desks and organic lunches). These are great if you have the resources, but health in the workplace can also begin with something as simple as celebrating National Get Fit Don’t Sit Day. Check out our free toolkit, available on our website, for tips, posters and other resources to encourage participation among your employees, colleagues and members. It’s definitely not too late!

Now, get up and get moving!