Scientists at the University of Utah have submitted a study to the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. In it they claim that walking 2 minutes per hour of sitting can help workers offset the known bad effects of sitting all day.
The study looked at whether short periods of simple activity (such as standing up) can help workers that sit all day. The scientists also looked at the impact of slightly more intense activity on worker health. These activities included walking and workers tidying their workspace.
There were more than 3,000 individuals involved in the study. They were monitored with technology that calculated the overall strength of their bursts of activity.
The findings are compelling. Researchers found that taking a break from sitting and being active for two minutes was hugely beneficial. This simple act was directly connected to a 33% decrease in the risk of dying.
The study found that activity was the crucial component. Standing wasn’t sufficient to move the numbers. Movement is required to receive a health benefit.
Meanwhile, at the University of Missouri, researchers looked specifically at the value of taking a quick walk and its impact on capillary.
This study was published in the journal Experimental Physiology. Its results show that sitting induced vascular problems in the lower part of the body could be completely reversed with a short 10-minute walk. The key here is the individual could walk at whatever pace felt comfortable to them. Yes, a stroll still offered measurable improvement!
The study also found that walking alone was not sufficient to help the upper body.
What we know for sure is that sitting for extended periods is terrible for one’s health. It’s been proven as a significant contributor to heart problems and diabetes. But these two studies show there may be a simple answer to this problem. Simple changes to how we work and how we take breaks can yield big health benefits. More frequent, shorter breaks that involve some moderate activity are the key. The result of this subtle but important change would be happier, healthier workers that live longer too.
And if your work environment isn’t quite so flexible, you still have options. Take 2 minutes each hour to stand at your desk and perform some form of light activity such as light calisthenics. You may feel silly but your body will thank you. Likewise, use the last break of your day for that 10-minute walk.
You may find that your overall outlook of life and health improves as you take these action steps.
Be sure to reach out to us for other tips on managing risk and creating peace of mind. We have many great ideas and options that we can custom tailor for you!