cubiclesWhile many jobs require physical activity, a growing number of Americans are engaged in sedentary work, leading to a greater risk of injury when we do move as well as a well-documented increase in obesity and related health problems.

A doctor specializing in chronic disease prevention has come up with a series of ten-minute exercise routine that can be done at any time, in any attire and in any setting – even an office cubicle.

Toni Yancey, MD, MPH calls her approach “Instant Recess.” The professor of health services at UCLA says that Americans need to change their thinking about exercise.

“If you’re set on an hour workout in the gym and you don’t make it, you can feel a sense of failure.”

She describes the “Instant Recess” breaks she developed as simple physical activity with movements based on sports or dance traditions. The routines include both aerobic exercises and strength training in the form of tricep kicks, knee lifts and hamstring curls and can all be done within the confines of the average office cubicle.

“I think we should emphasize that every minute of activity counts! Each calorie burned is one that doesn't end up around your waist. And if you aim to incorporate short bouts throughout the day, if you miss one, you can still make it up.”

Yancey suggests people do the exercises twice a day, once mid-morning and again in the afternoon.

Throughout the country, offices, worksites, places of worship, schools, senior centers and states like California and Kansas have incorporated Instant Recess into their programs.

Information on Instant Recess is available at: