College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

Get Off the Couch and Move!

What we eat (nutrition) and what we do (physical activity) are equally important to good health. Regular physical activity is key to reaching and keeping a healthy weight and preventing health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and even some cancers. 

Right now, we are spending a lot of time at home, and if we let ourselves, we could all become “couch potatoes.” Let’s fight the risks of inactivity by getting off the couch and moving.

  • Adults need to be physically active for at least 2½ hours per week.
  • Kids need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • Children 2 to 5 years old should play actively throughout the day.

  • Walk or march in place as you talk on the phone.
  • While watching TV, use commercial breaks as an opportunity to stretch your legs.
  • Chores count too. Sweeping, mopping and scrubbing floors can really get your heart pumping.
  • Break a sweat while gardening or doing lawn work.
  • Exercise along with your TV or a DVD.
  • Take a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood.
  • Put on some music and dance, dance, dance.
  • Play games like tag, hopscotch, basketball or kickball.
You don’t have to get in all your weekly movement at one time. Ten minutes here, five minutes there, it all adds up. A little bit of activity throughout the day is just as beneficial as 30 minutes at one time. And any amount helps in the fight against being a couch potato.

For more information

Contact Carinthia Cherry, Ph.D., nutrition specialist, at