Walking Just Two Minutes Each Hour Offsets the Health Hazards of Sitting

First Posted: May 01, 2015 07:03 AM EDT

Want to stay healthy? Then walk two minutes each hour. Scientists have found that walking just two minutes each hour could offset the hazards of sitting for long periods of time.

Numerous studies have shown that sitting for extended periods of time each day leads to increased risk for early death, as well as heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions. Considering that 80 percent of Americans fall short of completing the recommended amount of exercise, 2.5 hours of moderate activity each week, it seems unrealistic to expect that people will replace sitting with even more exercise.

That's why scientists decided to examine the health benefits of a more achievable goal: trading sitting for lighter activities for short periods of time. The researchers used observational data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to see whether standing and walking could extend the lifespan of people who are sedentary for more than half of their waking hours.

In the end, the researchers found that there's no benefit to decreasing sitting by two minutes each hour and replacing it by standing. However, a trade-off of sitting for walking for two minutes was associated with a 33 percent lower risk of dying.

"It was fascinating to see the results because the current national focus is on moderate or vigorous activity," said Srinivasan Beddhu, one of the researchers, in a news release. "To see that light activity had an association with lower mortality is intriguing."

The findings reveal that even light exercise can help your health. Small changes can make a big impact, which is especially important to note as more and more people shift to a sedentary lifestyle for work.

The findings are published in the journal CJASN.

For more great science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

See Now: NASA's Juno Spacecraft's Rendezvous With Jupiter's Mammoth Cyclone

©2017 ScienceWorldReport.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission. The window to the world of science news.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics