A young woman going for a run in the early mornings

We may know that sitting too much and not moving enough (aka being too nua) increases risk of obesity, diabetes, and other serious diseases. We may also know that moving more will cut our risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

But knowing these facts doesn’t motivate us to get off our comfy sofas to hit the recommended 10,000 steps a day and 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

As the saying (almost) goes, a journey of 10,000 steps begins with one step. Let’s take that first step with these easy ways to sneak physical activity into everyday life.

Related: How to Get 10,000 Steps a Day

How Much do you Move?

Asian man working hard at the computer

Before we put on our sports shoes, let’s grab a journal and jot down our level of physical activity over the next few days. The idea is to gain awareness of how much we move.

For example, at work, how many hours do you spend seated at your desk? Do you eat in or head out for lunch?

When you travel to and from work, how far do you walk to the bus stop or MRT station? Do you climb the stairs or take the lift?

Over the weekend, do you spend time with your family at the nearby shopping centre? Or perhaps you hardly leave the house, preferring to lepak at home.

After noting these down, you should be more aware of how active you are. Now let’s pinpoint areas where you can sneak in more physical activity!

Related: Move More, Live Longer

Think Outside the Cube

Asian man going on a walk and talking on the phone

One simple tweak for office warriors is to get a standing desk. Sitting too much increases risk for type 2 diabetes, and standing helps combat that — plus, you burn twice the calories!

Not a fan of standing while working? Take frequent breaks: for every hour of sitting, get up and walk for 5 minutes. Grab a kopi-o kosong or go to the loo.

And if you often eat at your desk, one way to increase your steps is to go out for lunch. Grab your colleagues and head to the nasi padang place you’ve been too lazy to visit.

Related: The Great Office Workout

Move More on the Go

Harbourfront station platform in Singapore

You can also add steps by changing your public transport routine. Alight a stop before your destination and brisk walk the rest of the way. Fast-paced walking can help reduce stress — a good way to end the workday.

At your destination, take the stairs instead of the lift. And double the calories burned by running up those stairs instead of walking.

Related: Just Keep Moving

Home Tweak Home

Young woman stretching after getting up from bed

Leisure time doesn’t have to be lazy. Do some light stretching while watching Channel 5 dramas. If that’s too easy, try jumping jacks during commercial breaks.

Related: Burn Calories While Watching TV

Out and About

A family enjoying the sun outside

Take family time one step further: hit the malls and increase your step count with Singapore’s favourite pastime, shopping. (Hint: window shop to protect your wallet!)

Prefer the outdoors? Head to one of Singapore’s many parks for a walk or cycle, and enjoy the fresh air, lush greenery, and wildlife.

Do consult your doctor before starting any exercise regime, and practise caution when exercising. Remember, safety first!


Preventing Diabetes: Move More

For more information on how to prevent diabetes, visit our Diabetes Hub.