Get rid of the negative effects of sitting all day in 5 minutes


If you work from 9 to 5, you probably spend most of your day sitting. We all know that sitting still is bad for our health. Because there are countless studies showing that this lifestyle can contribute to many diseases, from obesity to back pain … But there is a study, the details of which you will soon learn; it tells us what we should do to counteract the negative effects of sitting all day long. How? The answer is in our article.

Snacking exercises

In this study, led by Keith Diaz, an assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University, various mini-walks called “snacking exercises” were tested on a group of 11 adults.

All 11 participants sat in an ergonomic office chair for eight hours, only getting up to go to the bathroom or do the suggested snacking exercises. While the participants sat in their chairs (who were allowed to work, read, or use their smartphones), the researchers measured their blood sugar and blood pressure, which are good markers of cardiovascular health.

  • Various types of snack exercises included:
  • 1 minute of walking for every 30 minutes of sitting
  • 1 minute of walking for every 60 minutes of sitting
  • 5 minutes of walking for every 30 minutes of sitting
  • 5 minutes of walking for every 60 minutes of sitting
  • Don’t get up except for toilet breaks

Unsurprisingly, the results showed that 5 minutes of walking for every 30 minutes of sitting was the most beneficial option. What was surprising was how beneficial these snack exercises were. While 5 minutes may not sound like much, taking a walk during that time can offset some of the harmful effects of sitting all day!

Power is just 5 minutes away

In particular, the study showed that 5 minutes of walking led to a statistically significant decrease in blood sugar and blood pressure levels.

After the main meal, participants who walked for 5 minutes every 30 minutes had a 58% drop in blood sugar compared to those who sat all day.

The results also showed that walking for 1 minute every 30 minutes was also beneficial but not as effective as walking for 5 minutes. Walking for 1 or 5 minutes once an hour did not raise blood sugar levels.

What’s even more interesting is that all exercise with snacking lowered blood pressure levels by as much as 4-5 mmHg! According to Diaz, “This figure is a reduction comparable to the reduction you would expect from daily training for 6 months.”

Move throughout the day, even at work

Researchers have also come up with different interpretations of cardiovascular risk. In fact, the results also showed that all snacking exercises, with the exception of walking for one minute per hour, led to lower levels of fatigue and mood. As Diaz explains, “Movement has a significant effect on mood and fatigue. Because people tend to repeat actions that make them feel good and pleasant.”

Of course, these comments are from this small study of only 11 people. Therefore, the results can be treated with skepticism.

However, having a concrete idea of ​​how often and for how long we need to walk in order to counteract the negative effects of sitting for long periods of time can greatly improve our lives.

The good news is that the same group of researchers are now conducting another study in which 25 different snacking exercises were tested on a larger sample of people. This study will bring more clarity to this issue.

What we know for sure at this point is that going for coffee or scheduling online appointments on foot can benefit our health in many ways.

If you want to walk more during the day while you work, here are a few ideas to help you get there:

  • Remind yourself: Set a reminder on your calendar or phone. If you don’t remind yourself, you won’t be able to walk.
  • Walk and talk: Need to call a teammate, talk to a host, or have an online meeting? Then try walking while making that call.
  • Take a coffee break: If you’re going out for coffee, try going to a café further away.
  • Go to the second closest toilet: If you’re taking a bathroom break and working in a large office, try going to the bathroom across from the office or on a different floor.
  • Buy a treadmill: If buying a treadmill is within your budget, it can be a great way to increase your daily steps.
  • Get step counter: Many smartwatches and phones already count your steps. Setting and setting a daily step goal can motivate you to get up and walk regularly.

To cheer yourself up and relax during your work day, you can also do light stretching at your desk, eat nutritious foods, and take herbal teas for a calming effect.

You may be interested in: 3-Minute Sitting-Sitting Lesson for Those Who Have to Sit All Day

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