A new research suggests getting up and walking for two minutes every hour could help reverse the negative health effects from prolonged sitting. As suggested by an earlier report, prolonged sitting time may increase risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and early death even in people who do regular exercise. The study found sitting for prolonged periods raised the risk of cardiovascular disease by 14 percent, cancer by 13 percent, and diabetes by a whopping 91 percent.
Walking is the easiest way to remain fit and active. You may think it is underrated as a form of exercise, not more. Regular walking can reduce stress levels, prevent memory decline, boost heart health and add more years to your life.A new study led by an Indian-origin researcher and published in the Journal Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology on the 30th of April shows that walking for just two minutes every hour can offset the health hazards of sitting for long periods of time.Scientists and health experts both agree that sitting for long hours can drastically harm your health. Current exercise recommendations advise adults to get at least 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity each week.
Researchers examined 3,243 participants to see whether longer durations of low intensity activities (e.g. standing), and light intensity activities (e.g. casual walking, light gardening, cleaning) extends the life span of people who are sedentary for more than half of their waking hours. Lead author Srinivasan Beddhu, professor of medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine, explained that while it is obvious that it takes energy to exercise, strolling and other light activities also use energy — and even short walks add up to a lot when repeated many times over the course of a week.
“Based on these results, we would recommend adding two minutes of walking each hour in combination with normal activities, which should include 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week,” Beddhu noted.
Assuming 16 awake hours each day, two minutes of strolling each hour expends 400 kilocalorie (kcal) each week. That number approaches the 600 kcal it takes to accomplish the recommended weekly goal of moderate exercise.
Of course, this alone may not help you achieve your fitness goals. Combine it with moderate exercise strengthens the heart, muscles, and bones, and confers health benefits.