Getting up from
your desk, or wherever you've been sitting, and walking for two minutes every hour can help
reduce the negative health effects from prolonged sitting, says a new study
from the University of Utah School Of Medicine,
spend their day sitting, working at a computer or watching television. Earlier
studies have shown that sitting for extended periods of time is associated with
higher risk of heart diseases
, diabetes and premature death and other chronic health problems
, regardless of regular exercise. Standing for
some hours can be an obvious remedy to the diseases caused by sitting. But,
standing for longer periods of time or standing at your work place may not be
healthy or practical.
Results from a new study show that taking a break for
just two minutes and doing some light-intensity exercise such as walking and
gardening results in a 33% lower risk of the premature death.
author Dr. Srinivasan Beddhu, a professor of medicine at the university, said
that the study results are significant as current exercise recommendations also
advice people to get at-least 2.5 hour of moderate exercise each week.
exercise strengthens the heart, muscles and bones, and confers health. Based on these results, we would recommend adding two
minutes of walking each hour in combination with their normal activities, which
should include 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week," said Dr.
study author and the director of the Study Design and Biostatistics Center at
the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at the university, said that
moderate physical activities could be life-saving.
"Exercise is great but the reality is that the
practical amount of vigorous exercise that
can be achieved is limited. Our study suggests that even small changes can have
a big impact," he said
collected data of the people (around 3,200) who participated in the US National
Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The study volunteers wore accelerometer
to assess the intensity of their activities. The scientists compared the health
benefits of longer bouts of low-intensity activities, such as standing and
walking. The participants were closely followed for three years and 137 people
died during this time.
two minutes walk per hour for a healthy life and long life, the study found no
benefit from two-minute standing per hour to
offset the negative health effects of sitting
for long periods
. However, scientists said that only a larger
interventional study could prove if replacing
some sitting time with light activity such as standing can provide people with
The study was
published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
What is Moderate Exercise?
Experts say that
moderate walk should translate to about 100 steps per minute.
To calculate how
many steps per minute are required to attain moderate exercise, researchers
monitored oxygen uptake in 58 women and 39 men while they finished four
different 6-minute treadmill sessions. The participants worked out on the
treadmill at speeds ranging from 2.4 to 4.1 miles per hour. All of them wore
pedometers, a device that calculates the intensity of exercise by detecting the
motion of the person's hips, during the exercise sessions.
"Our study suggests that walking at more
than 100 steps per minute would be necessary to the intensity level of moderate
exercise. As health benefits can be achieved with even with 10-minute exercise,
a useful starting point is to attain 1,000 steps in 10 minutes, before going
after 3,000 steps in 30 minutes," researchers write in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.