Just ten minutes of exercise a day is enough to get fitter

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Jogging, yoga in the park, going to the gym or just going for a walk? How much exercise is necessary to stay physically fit is a subject of disagreement on the Internet, especially on social media. In addition to fitness and nutrition influencers who provide their followers with tips and tricks for a healthier everyday life, science has also been dealing with the topic for a long time.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends at least two and a half hours of exercise per week. This can prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer. It is important to do at least moderate exercise: The more intense the exercise, the more the recommended time frame is reduced. While brisk walks can last 150 minutes, experts recommend at least 75 minutes of jogging per week.

A little every day
As international studies show, however, the two and a half hours do not have to be exercised in one go or spread over two or three sessions per week. A study from Taiwan published in “The Lancet” back in 2011 showed that as little as ten minutes a day helps people stay healthier.

A follow-up study by Brazilian researcher Mauritio dos Santos proved that weekend-only athletes could also claim positive effects. Dos Santos and his team even showed that people who exercise exclusively on weekends are up to 13 percent less likely to develop cancer than those who do little to no exercise.

Standing table against diabetes
Getting regular exercise, however, can be challenging even for shorter sessions. For example, long workdays in the office can be quite draining, and in the evenings, you’re more likely to feel the call of the comfy couch than after a walk in sub-zero temperatures.

Even here can be remedied with a few tricks. This shows a recent study by the University of Leicter on physical health at work. On average, we spend around three-quarters of our working day sitting down. This increases so-called “sitting diseases” such as joint pain and back problems and significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and even type 2 diabetes.

To counteract this, the scientists around study author Charlotte Edwardson recommend using height-adjustable desks, for example, and working standing up from time to time. Two hours per day are recommended here. If you don’t want to stand, you can also do individual tasks while walking. This is ideal for telephone calls or when e-mails can be read and answered on the cell phone.

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