A new study in America has shown that walking for 2 minutes longer each hour can offset some of the effects of a sedentary job or lifestyle.
The study by University of Utah Health Sciences suggested that a low intensity activity such as standing is not enough to offset the hazards of sitting for long periods of time. But did suggest that if 2 minutes of walking was incorporated each hour into a person’s routine it might just do the trick.
Numerous studies have shown that sedentary lifestyles or jobs increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions. Also considering that a large proportion of people find it difficult to complete the recommended 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week it seems unrealistic to expect that people will fit in even more exercise.
This is the reason why Utah University set about investigating the health benefits of more achievable goals, trading sitting with light activities for short periods of time.
The results of the study showed that a trade off of sitting for light intensity activities (such as walking, gardening, cleaning) for two minutes each hour was associated with a 33 percent lower risk of dying.
While moderate or vigorous activity will use a lot of energy, light exercise activities will use up energy too if repeated many times over the course of a week.
Lead author Srinivasan Beddhu said “Based on the results of the study we would recommend adding two minutes of walking each hour in combination with normal activities, which should include 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week.”
It is important to remember that moderate exercise strengthens the heart, muscles and bone and has additional health benefits that low and light intensity activities don’t have. However, even small changes to the amount of exercise you take can have a big impact.
Cheryl, Haywards Heath