Who are these wacky guys? And what are they up to?

Alex Oberheide (left) and KC Reischerl, both fitness instructors and personal trainers for UCLA Recreation’s FITWELL program, are taking a workout break from their cubicles in this video introducing Bruin MoveMail.

Launched last fall by FITWELL, home of the popular Bruin Health Improvement Program and other fitness offerings for campus employees, MoveMail sends out twice-a-day emails to get deskbound faculty and staff out of their office chairs and into better health.

“It's easy to sit at your desk for hours without moving,” said FITWELL program director Elisa Terry, who spearheaded MoveMail in response to a growing body of research showing that prolonged sitting can be harmful to your health. A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to disorders like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer. Too much seat time can even be deadly: According to one study, people who sit for eight hours or more each day have a 15 percent greater risk of dying within three years than those who sit for four hours or less. And that higher risk holds even for those who exercise regularly.

“Even if you work out, sitting for the rest of the day is not good for your health,” said Terry, who added that too much sitting “just doesn’t feel good and leads to musculoskeletal conditions that make everything else less enjoyable and sometimes even painful.”

Every weekday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., MoveMail’s 1,300-plus subscribers receive an email that sounds more like a perky personal coach than a typical office email. "Everybody up and at 'em! It's time to MOVE!" one Movemail shouted. "Let's do this, Bruins!"

MoveMails include suggestions for quick workouts and information on campus exercise opportunities like the nearly 50 free 15-minute Fit Breaks led by FITWELL instructors at locations that range from a conference room at the Wilshire Center to Dickson Court and the Inverted Fountain. Subscribers also receive links to fun and instructional videos like this one, in which UCLA Recreation staff members take a break from a long meeting with an impromptu dance break to Taylor Swift's "Shake It Up."

“MoveMail is a prompt, a reminder to get up and do something,” said Terry. “Walk. Take the stairs. Do some simple exercises at your desk. We give people ideas.”

These ideas have included deskside leg swings and sit-to-stands to wake up and work out your legs, "Clean Your Chair and Criss Cross" for your core muscles and "Downward Desk Dog Stretch."

Every Monday, MoveMail members are invited to take on a weekly challenge, like working out two times a day to the video "Sit-to-Stand and Scapular Depression Hold.” “It's really not depressing though," MailMove joked. “Your legs and shoulders will have a great time.” Friday's emails include nutritional tips and recipes for healthy eating. 

Terry and her FITWELL staff also offer custom-designed workouts for individuals or office groups. Donna Colin, executive director of major gifts at the UCLA School of Law, got tips for exercises she can do without having to leave her office and volunteered to have the workout videotaped for the benefit of fellow MoveMail members:

MoveMail continues to recruit new members and develop new offerings.

“It's only going to get better — so join,” Terry urged. “We’ve got lots of ideas for how to make it awesome.” 

Sign up for MoveMail here. Find more information at UCLA Recreation and MoveMail on Facebook. And you can find all the videos here.