(PCM) The more comfortable you are at work, the more you’ll move! According to a study at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, casual, dressed-down clothes can make you more active on the job. And we’re not just talking about a few extra steps by taking the stairs instead of the elevator; study participants took on average 80 percent more steps when they wore jeans to the office than when they wore skirts. That can really add up!
Though taking more steps throughout the day isn’t just about weight loss; studies show that sitting all day in a cubicle not only leads to weight gain, but it may even decrease longevity. In fact, sitting just four hours a day increases risk of death by 8 percent, suggests Dr James Levine, a doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who has been studying the effects of sitting for years.
“In one study, adults who spent more than four hours a day sitting in front of the television had an 80 percent increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared with adults who spent less than two hours a day in front of the TV,” he says. “This risk was independent of other risk factors such as smoking or diet.”
If you don’t have to wear dress suits and skirts to the office everyday, don’t! It doesn’t mean you should go to work in sweats and sneakers, but a little added comfort goes a long way. Opt for flats or kitten heels over high heel stilettos, comfortable slacks over skirts, and always take advantage of casual Fridays and wear jeans.