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What Are Your Activities of Daily Living?

Written by Dana Yarn, RDLD


When I meet with a client for the first time I often ask them, “Are you active throughout the day?” This means are they sitting, standing, or doing physical labor for their job. Believe it or not there is a substantial daily caloric burn difference between a school teacher who stands most of the day and those who have “desk” jobs, it can be anywhere between 400-600 extra calories per day one burns who stands up for most of the day at work.

Moving is what keeps us alive, and if we stop moving our bodies stop working properly, it truly is that simple. Look at the ex-athletes who gain 100 pounds, they stop practice and training but still eat the same amount and they pack on the pounds, not to mention high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Then I look at my mother who is in her early 60’s and still runs ½ marathons, and gets down on her hands and knees to clean up, she is always up and going with the energy of a 15 year old. This post is not intended to have you switch careers; it is intended to make you move more. I was at the park today (Sunday) with Lily, my almost 2 year old and there were probably 8 other families at the park. Only one other parent was standing up, seriously. It is a gorgeous day here in Atlanta, about 70 and sunny with a breeze, it really does not get much better than this. Why is everyone so lethargic? It is uncomplicated in order to get energy you have to give it, let’s face it there is not much energy being given these days.

Here are some easy ways to create more movement throughout the day in addition to your daily exercise routine.

  • Walk around your neighborhood at least once per day for 10-15 minutes at minimum. Bring your dog, kids in the stroller, family or friends. This is a great way to get some fresh air, meet neighbors and keep your body going.
  • Take the stairs whenever you can, I have a client who climbs to the top of his work building (25 flights) on his lunch break and then he eats lunch, it has become habit, he feels weird if he skips his daily stair climb.
  • Stretch or do core exercises while watching TV, yes I know you want to put your feet up but why not grab the foam roller or a strap and stretch out before you plop into your recliner? I guarantee your body will feel so much better with a daily stretch.

Get out there and take advantage of the day!

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