New research suggests that walking for two minutes every hour can “offset” the health risks of prolonged sitting. The study, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, was conducted by scientists at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
Wanting to promote a more achievable goal than getting 2.5 hours of moderate activity every week, something that 80 percent of Americans cannot comply with, the researchers designed a new study.
Examining data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, they sought to determine whether low intensity activities such as standing, and light intensity activities such as casual walking, light gardening, and cleaning can increase the lifespan of sedentary individuals. They discovered that performing light intensity activities for two minutes every hour was associated with a 33 percent lower risk of dying. Two minutes of walking every hour uses 400 kilocalories (kcal) each week (assuming 16 waking hours per day), comparatively close to 600 kcal, which is the recommended weekly amount of calories burned through moderate exercise.
Using their findings, the researchers recommended adding two minutes of walking each hour in conjunction with other activities, including the two-and-a-half-hour amount of weekly exercise.
To learn more, read the press release.