People who sit a lot should go for a walk for five minutes every 30 minutes

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Whether in the home office or in the office: Those who work at the PC often sit for hours. Researchers at Columbia University in New York have now found that regular short exercise breaks during the workday can be enough to offset the effects of sitting for long periods. The study showed that a five-minute walk every 30 minutes was enough to do this.

Researchers say these short walking breaks can improve mood, reduce fatigue, and increase overall well-being. This is accomplished because the body is re-energized by the brief exercise – walking can help regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Regular activity can also have a balancing effect. Recommended is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. Conversely, those who sit too long are at increased health risk. For example, they have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.

Eight-hour day with 40 minutes of activity
For the study, the researchers studied eleven participants in a laboratory where they sat for eight hours. During that time, they were allowed to work, read and use their cell phones. Each participant kept a different break schedule, such as going for a walk for a few minutes or staying seated. Getting up for five minutes every 30 minutes and going for a walk proved to be the most beneficial.

As the muscles are used again during the breaks, they help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels. On the other hand, the purely sedentary posture causes constriction of the blood vessels of the legs, which leads to an increase in blood pressure. Regular short walks can prevent these blood pressure changes.

In an eight-hour workday, five minutes every 30 minutes already provides 40 minutes of activity. Add a 15-minute walk during the lunch break, and you’ve already done just under an hour per workday for your health.

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