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The beat to death mantra of needing to get out and exercise 30 minutes at least 5 days a week to prevent our demise due to sedentary life styles is accurate, but without much effort we can do a lot more. Consider this in our battle with obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Think small now. Instead of sitting at your desk while on the phone, consider standing. Doesn’t sound like much, but compared to sitting, standing up and stretching during a phone call is major. Use stairs once in a while. For you folks working on the 72nd floor, get out 5 floors early and walk up and back down. Stand instead of sit at your child’s ballgame. Get into that game and pace a bit.

These aren’t big things and they don’t take any time you won’t be using anyway. They aren’t a replacement for the 30 minutes, but a few extra calories burned here and there have been proven to make a difference.

Studies show that the enzymes that are responsible for fat burning are “turned off” after a period of inactivity. These enzymes can be turned back on with just minor activity. Just the act of standing and holding the body upright takes twice as much energy as sitting upright.

I know I spend an inordinate amount of time at my desk, and that just getting up to go to the fax or printer feels good. I do my mandatory run at lunchtime (my 30 minute duty), but I can see where some of these suggestions will be beneficial.

Bottom line. The more we can do to fight off sedentarianism, the healthier we’ll be and the better chance we have of nailing down low life insurance rates.