Move more, sit less: Tips for staying active while at home

Health officials across the country are urging Americans to stay home while they deal with the emerging threat of the coronavirus.

But that advice doesn’t include a mandate to become sedentary.

A publication from K-State Research and Extension, titled Move More, Sit Less, which is available at, outlines activities that can be done at home, including:

  • Ditch the remote. Get up to change the channel on the television.
  • During commercials, get up and walk around. Or, do stretches or lift hand weights.
  • Stand while folding clothes, washing the dog or talking on the phone. Hand wash dishes instead of using the dishwasher.
  • Watch one less TV program a week and do something active instead.
  • Plant a garden. Weeding, planting, digging and lawn care all are good workouts. Use a push mower instead of a riding mower.
  • Hang clothes on a line, instead of using the dryer.
  • Stand while reading articles online.
  • If possible, go to a different floor of the room to use the restroom.
  • Schedule a 10-minute morning and afternoon walking break every day. Outdoor exercise is allowed under most stay-at-home orders.

Low-energy, sedentary activities—such as sitting—worsen anxiety and depression in those who are already susceptible. The sedentary lifestyle has contributed greatly to an increase in obesity rates for the last 10 years in Kansas; officials say the state ranks in the upper one-third of heaviest states in the United States.

Sitting also is linked to reduced mental clarity and focus, and feelings of increased stress. The brain is a muscle, too, and it suffers from a lack of movement. Exercise increases blood flow and oxygen and glucose metabolism for the brain.

More tips for being active around the home can be found in another publication from K-State Research and Extension, titled Let’s Live a Little: Physical Activity for Fun and Fitness available at

That publication lists simple activities for people of all ages, including flexibility, strengthening and endurance exercises.