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woman doing exercises with hand weights

Simple exercises with light weights can help you stay physically fit while staying at home.| Download this photo.

Move More, Sit Less: Tips for staying active while at home

K-State shares ideas on maintaining good health

March 27, 2020

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Health officials across the country are urging Americans to stay home while they deal with the emerging threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

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

A publication from K-State Research and Extension, titled Move More, Sit Less, 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.

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

K-State Research and Extension has compiled numerous publications and other information to help people take care of themselves and others during times of crisis. See the complete list of resources online.

Local K-State Research and Extension agents are still on the job during this time of closures and confinement. They, too, are practicing social distancing. Email is the best way to reach them, but call forwarding and voicemail allow for closed local offices to be reached by phone as well (some responses could be delayed). To find out how to reach your local agents, visit the K-State Research and Extension county and district directory.

At a glance

Orders to stay home do not include becoming sedentary. Many simple exercises can help you stay physically and mentally healthy.


K-State Research and Extension COVID-19 Resource Page

Written by

Pat Melgares

For more information: 

Move More, Sit Less

Let’s Live a Little: Physical Activity for Fun and Fitness


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K‑State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the wellbeing of Kansans.
Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county extension offices, experiment fields, area extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K‑State campus in Manhattan.