does working 12 hours on the floor count as exercise?

  1. I work 12 hour shifts during the Day 7 am-730 pm on a busy medical tele floor. I spend a lot of time on my feet walking back and Forth between patient rooms. I often wonder how much I walk per shift

    my schedule in a 2 week pay period is 2 on, 2 off, 3 on , 2 off, and 2 on and 3 off for a 3 day weekend So I work 7 days per pay period.

    On my days off I go to the gym so 30 minutes of cardio and another 30 minutes of doing weight machines

    my question is, do I even need to work because I walk so much at work. Does it count as exercise? I'm always on the move. I've read nurses in hospitals walk around 3-5 miles a day depending
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  3. by   pro-student
    Get yourself an inexpensive pedometer and you can find out exactly how much you walk at work (or all day if you want). Many will also tell you how many calories you burn too. As to if it "counts" as exercise, that really depends on what your fitness goals are. If you're trying to lose weight, the more exercise you get (within reason) the quicker the weight will come off. If you're looking for overall health benefits, then the type and location of exercise doesn't matter. So whatever you do at work contributes to your overall physical activity.
  4. by   db2xs
    I would say yes and no. It's obviously better than sitting around like a couch potato but at the same time, you do need some variety as well. Walking is not weight-bearing exercise nor is it truly aerobic. The fact that you also exercise outside of work is a good thing!
  5. by   JKL33
    Walking at work is great, and yes, I walk 4 to 4.5+ on a typical day. But this is not a substitute for the workouts you're doing.

    I'm no fan of WebMD, but they put it succinctly:

    Walking is a popular aerobic activity. It is easy to do, you don't need special equipment, and it can be done almost anywhere. To get aerobic benefit, you must walk briskly-fast enough to make your pulse and breathing increase, but not so fast that you can't talk comfortably.
    Keep up your workouts - it's great for your health and the walking you do at work is a bonus. You'd probably enjoy a pedometer or fitness tracker as mentioned above - they are quite motivating.
  6. by   NurseSpeedy
    Well, it beats a desk job but it's definitely not the same as working out at the gym, getting your heart rate up and keeping it up for long enough time to benefit your cardiovascular system or the "look" of your body.

    If you were recently working a desk job and now working the floor you could easily see a few extra pounds drop. Likewise if you transitioned from a floor nursing job to a desk job you could probably get the unpleasant surprise after a month or so of adding on some pounds if you don't increase your time at the gym.

    On a side note, I have the my fitness pal app on my phone. I RUN at my job for 12 hours (well, except when I'm the patient's room, that would probably make me fall) but out in the hallway I'm the one rushing by the desk causing a wind tunnel effect making all the papers go flying everywhere. My steps equal around 6 miles a day. The app gives me "credit" for less than 100 calories. I go on the elliptical for 90 minutes at the gym, just under 1,000 (with height, weight, age, and gender computed from the app, not the generous machine). The two don't even compare.
  7. by   Ruby Vee
    Working should not be the hardest thing you do. So yeah, keep up the workouts. Wish I could do as well.
  8. by   LiveFit99
    Your time spent nursing is considered "activity", not exercise. Being active is good for general health and burning of calories, but it does not offer the same health benefits of vigorous exercise.

    Exercise is short-term, high intensity stress that pushes the limits of your maximal strength, endurance, and heart rate.

    Is a 20 minute walk the same as a 20 minute run? If so, then just run 100% of the day!
  9. by   Grobyc82
    It depends. If you spend the better part of your day walking briskly while assisting dependant patients through ADLs and even carrying stuff it can count as exercise. At work, I try to make it a point to do stairs, this way I get my heart rate up.
  10. by   Froggybelly
    I usually do around 14-15k steps during a 12 hour shift, so I consider that enough exercise for the day. I speed walk everywhere and I'm frequently pulling a bed or lugging trays/ equipment, so I think my heart rate gets up. My watch ticks off all of my "exercise" minutes. I'm not particularly athletic or super excited about fitness, though.
  11. by   LiveFit99
    Those are examples of light to moderate exercise. A brisk walk is typically categorized as moderate. Those things are healthy. However, research shows that "vigorous" exercise reduces all cause mortality. Things that make you sweat or out of breath... Sports like soccer or basketball, jogging, or heavy weight lifting.

    Ideally, at least 2 sessions per week of vigorous exercise.

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