The benefits of exercise seem pretty obvious, right? But what if I told you there was one easy secret to maximize those benefits?
What if I told you that you could improve your health and lower your chances of developing serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and obesity in only 48 minutes per day? Actually, let’s make it 32 minutes.
By now you’ve probably heard how excessive sitting—or sedentary behavior—is dangerous for your health. A variety of studies show how dangerous sitting for long periods of time on a consistent basis can be and the media has reported on these dangers to no end.
But it can be hard to find things to do all day that will keep you on your feet—especially if you don’t have a job that requires you to be active. Most jobs are comprised of inactive behavior; for example, sitting down and typing on a computer for most of the day. Plus, if you’re a senior, a quickly growing part of our population, you’re likely spending most of your time sitting down as well.But a new study is showing that only about two minutes of activity every hour can have significant health benefits. Light-activity like strolling around a room, walking around the house, or doing some other form of physical activity for only two-minutes per hour can lower the risk of premature death by 33%. On the other end of the scale, every hour you sit without getting up can increase your chances of getting diabetes by 3.4%.The benefits of exercise appear to be cumulative; so if you’re already getting two minutes of activity every hour, you could lower your risk of disease even more by being active for four minutes every hour.
If you’re already active and exercise every day—say a workout at the gym, a bike ride, jog, or walk around the block—it’s important to note that you still need your two-minute per hour walkabout, too. The results of this study all come down to how long people are sedentary at once; so if you sit for four to five hours straight, but exercise for one hour, it’s not breaking up the sitting, which appears to be of maximal importance.
Now in no way am I suggesting regular daily exercise is a waste of time, but it’s still important to get about two minutes (minimum) of movement per every hour of sitting.
Who knew that walking up and down the stairs or roaming the hallways of your home or workplace for just a couple of minutes every hour can significantly lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes and more?
Sources for Today’s Article:
Rockette-Wagner, B., et al., “The impact of lifestyle intervention on sedentary time in individuals at high risk of diabetes,” Diabetologia, June 2015; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25851102.
Beddhu, S., et al., “Light-Intensity Physical Activities and Mortality in the United States General Population and CKD Subpopulation.,” Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, April 30, 2015; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25931456.