The Power of Unplanned Movement - Movement-Rx

The Power of Unplanned Movement

Think your one hour of exercise is enough to combat the effects of a computer job? Think again.

The other 23 hours of the day may make a bigger difference in your longevity, pain, and quality of life.

Enter “unplanned movement.”

Dr. Theresa went LIVE with Jon Macaskill and Will Schneider of the Men Talking Mindfulness podcast on April 24, 2024 to talk about the power of unplanned movement on your mental and physical health.

Watch the full recording to dive into the details and  keep reading below for the highlights.

What is “unplanned movement”?

Unplanned movement is the sum total of all the movement that you get in during the day OUTSIDE of an exercise class or gym session. It’s movement that occurs when we’re NOT thinking about it: any activities we’re doing outside of sitting in a chair or laying down.

Any time spent with your muscles engaged in supporting or moving your body counts as unplanned movement, activities such as:

  • Standing, sitting on an exercise ball
  • Playing with your dog on the ground, playing with your kids
  • Getting onto and off of the floor
  • Walking
  • Doing chores, moving around the kitchen cooking, cleaning, or gardening
  • Fidgeting

Take your cues from your kids…they are in constant “unplanned” motion: tumbling, playing, stacking things, running around the house, crafting, and more.

Why do we need it?

NO OTHER DRUG can improve your health like movement. Sitting for long periods breeds lethargy, while movement accelerates forward momentum.

Unplanned movement does MANY things for us:

  • It’s what keeps our metabolism humming…even elevates metabolism the more we move
  • Lubricates our joints
  • Improves creativity by 30%
  • Boosts mental and work performance
  • Reduces stress and lethargy
  • Interrupts ruminative or anxious thinking
  • Prevents the development of the diseases that kill us in our 50s and beyond: metabolic disease (diabetes), heart disease, neurodegenerative disease, and cerebrovascular disease (stroke)

Our bodies adapt to the positions we spend the most time in. If we spend most of our time hunched forward, neck centered, with our hips bent, it’s no surprise that our upper back and neck start to feel stiff when we turn them, or our hips start to feel tight in the front when we get up to stand or walk.

Reflect on the positions YOUR body is in throughout the day and for how long. How much time are YOU spending in movement compared to time spent sitting or laying?

How can we incorporate more unplanned movement into our day?

Dr. T gave her top 6 ways to get more movement into your day without making your workout routine longer:


1- Walking:

Start with a simple 10 minutes of moderate speed walking…enough to get your heartrate up! Aim for a total 8-12k steps per day.

2- Stand at your work station.

We don’t just mean standing like a soldier…shift your weight and shift your stance often.

3- Incorporate spinal twists and rolling.

You’ll benefit from the stretching for your back muscles AND from getting onto and off of the floor

4- Add some extra squats to your day.

Every 25-30 minutes, break up your sitting with 10 squats.

5- Balance on one leg.

Try this while brushing your teeth or waiting for the microwave.

6- Sit on the ground to play with pets or kids.

Instead of keeping you just upright, your muscles are working differently to coordinate movement patterns that you don’t get exposed to during the work day.


How to dive deeper?

At Movement Rx, we are in the business of creating teams that lead and work better from a place of wellbeing. Because if you don’t make time for your wellbeing now, you’ll have to make time for disease later. 

We’re leading an immersive and freeing weekend designed to help you take back control of your time and re-focus on what’s actually important to you: your wellbeing.

Click HERE to schedule a Workshop Discovery Call

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