Home Health and Fitness Sitting all day can be deadly. 5-minute exercise breaks can reduce health risks : Shots

Sitting all day can be deadly. 5-minute exercise breaks can reduce health risks : Shots

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A 5-minute walk every 30 minutes can reduce your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

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Esch Collection/Getty Images

A 5-minute walk every 30 minutes can reduce your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

Esch Collection/Getty Images

Sitting in front of a computer all day and lounging on the couch in the evening for more screen time can take a toll on your health. body of evidence A sedentary lifestyle is associated with an increased risk of death from diabetes, dementia and heart disease.

Let the alarm bells ring here. One study found that sitting for more than 12 to 13 hours a day, whether exercising or not, double the chance of dying Faster than non-seated people.

A new study found that a surprisingly small amount of activity can reduce that risk.

researcher Keith Diaz of Columbia University Medical Center and his colleagues set out to find out. Even if only slightly The amount of physical activity a person must do to offset the health risks of sitting. They recruited volunteers to come to the lab and emulate a typical work day.

“They came in and sat for eight hours,” Diaz explains. Subjects took walking breaks of varying length and frequency.

“We’ve found that walking for five minutes every half hour can offset a lot of the harm from sitting,” Diaz says.

Participants walked the treadmill at a slow pace of approximately 1.9 miles per hour. “We were really impressed with how powerful the effects were,” says Diaz, who found that those who exercised for five minutes every 30 minutes experienced about a 60% reduction in postprandial blood sugar spikes. Did.

Say “This is amazing to me” Robert Sallis, Family Physician Kaiser Permanente and former president of the American College of Sports Medicine. It’s well known that exercise helps control blood sugar levels, but what’s new here is just how beneficial frequent, short exercise can be.

Salis said, “I’ve never seen my blood sugar go down like this without medication. He said he was impressed with the findings published in the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. . Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise.

is more than 1 in 3 adults in the US has pre-diabetesand almost Half of adults have high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both conditions increase the risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. That’s why Salis says many people can benefit from frequent small breaks.

Adults are recommended to engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. According to the CDC You can split this into smaller chunksTake short breaks, for example, 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week, or more often. “I find it easier to find short periods of time to exercise,” says Salis.

The pace of walking in this study seemed too slow to be considered “moderate intensity” for most people, Professor Loretta DiPietro, School of Public Health, Milken Institute, says there are simple ways to increase strength, including walking faster. “Add stairs,” she says. She “shakes her arms” so she can work more muscles.

Another tip: Turn on your music. Sometimes the beat prompts you to pick up the pace. Short breaks may not help you lose weight, but “it’s a great way to improve your metabolic profile,” DiPietro says. This is the key to good health.

DiPietro was not involved in the new research, but her previous research also showed: walk after dinner Helps improve blood sugar control.

She explains that the mechanisms by which exercise leads to this benefit are well understood.DiPietro says that when we contract our muscles, our bodies use GLUT4 transporter protein It rises to the surface of muscle cells and escorts glucose molecules into the cells. Physical activity therefore helps to expel glucose from the bloodstream into the muscles where it is stored and utilized. Helps bring the value down.

As employers look for ways to retain employees, DiPietro said there are clear benefits to encouraging exercise during work hours. “The human body wasn’t designed for him to sit eight hours at a time,” DiPietro says. “What employers can do is give people choices,” she says. For example, encouraging walking meetings or promoting flexibility, which has become more common since the pandemic.

Employers should be aware that short, frequent breaks have other benefits. Professor Emeritus Kathleen Jantz at the University of Iowa, which focuses on health promotion. She reviewed the results of a new NPR study, noting that study participants did not feel fatigued.

Janz says it’s a great reminder that moving your body while you work is not a waste of time. In fact, it can make us better workers and healthier at the same time.

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