Spend four hours a day on your feet

You’ve probably heard that “sitting is the new smoking” – the looming health risk in the computer age. A proliferation of studies over the past decade has linked prolonged stretches of sedentariness to an uptick in the risk of diabetes, heart disease, even cancer.

A consensus statement published last month in the British Journal of Sports Medicine recommended that people in desk jobs aim initially for two hours of standing or light walking each day, gradually building to four hours of nonsedentary activity during the day.

If those targets seem extreme, take heart. They’re meant to be accumulated over the course of 16 waking hours, says the statement’s lead author, John Buckley, a professor of applied exercise science at Britain’s University of Chester and chair of the International Council of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation. If you’re starting from zero, aim to reach the two-hour goal over the course of a month and then move on to the four-hour target over the next three to four months.