5-Minute Walks Every 30 Minutes Reduces The Harmful Side Effects Of Constant Sitting

Inside Tracker

Researchers wanted to look deeper into the long-term effects of constant sitting. Hence, they conducted a study that looked into the bare minimum of physical activity that is required to prevent the bad side effects of continuous sitting. They wanted to prevent this and they were able to discover that just five minutes of walking every half hour was already sufficient.

The researchers looked deeper into blood sugar levels and blood pressure, which are two important metrics when it comes to heart disease. The scientists behind this had been able to determine the daily movement needed to get the body back into the equilibrium and reduce the adverse effects of constant sitting.

This is extremely common among this working in the office, sitting on their desks for long periods of time. Even those who don’t work and just spend their days at home, there is always some sitting involved. Then climbing into the car to drive, people often stay in that position for hours at a time. Then, a day at work often entails eight to nine hours sitting before they drive home and sit inside the car once again. And when they’re home, they’ll most likely rest in the couch before sitting down for dinner. All the activities mentioned involve one thing – sitting.

For adults, sitting time in industrialized nations has been on the rise for years now. Unfortunately, this increases the risk for all the diseases typical of those areas. The common health issues are type-2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke, fatty liver disease, and a whole lot more.

A new study was made and this was published in Medicine Science in Sports and Exercise. In this study, Keith Diaz et al. asked 11 healthy middle-aged individuals to join and complete an experiment. They were asked to sit in a lab for eight hours a day for five days, much like a typical work day for the majority.

There were days involved that they sat for the entire eight hours. They only stood up to take bathroom breaks. On other days, they were asked to do short bouts of walking. These walking activities had different regularities in order for scientists to know the lowest amount of movement that is needed to lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels.

“We found that a 5-minute light walk every half-hour was the only strategy that reduced blood sugar levels substantially compared with sitting all day,” Diaz wrote in The Conversation.

“In particular, 5-minute walks every half-hour reduced the blood sugar spike after eating by almost 60%, [and] that strategy also reduced blood pressure by four to five points compared with sitting all day,” Diaz also added.

What has become the main focus of physiologists lately is the definition of exercise and time spent in exercise. With the research they gathered, recent evidence points out that time spent in movement for work purposes doesn’t clearly communicate their protection from certain diseases that have already been mentioned beforehand. At least, not the same way that exercise does. More importantly, the clarity between the difference between movement for work and movement for exercise has yet to be clarified and understood better.

Additionally, bouts of prolonged sitting for several days creates an “exercise resistance.” This can mean that even a 60-minute moderate intensity run can become useless and meaningless when it comes to improving cardio-metabolic health.

This new research, on the other hand, brings new light by providing a concrete guideline for desk workers or office managers to use. These don’t depend on the general guidelines from government agencies like the Dept. of Health and Human Services that simply say “move more, sit less.” This doesn’t even go for the recommended 150 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity each week because these don’t tackle the issues for those in the workplace for long periods of time.

Exercise targets need to be made for everyone at all possible levels for them to make sure that their muscle mass remains robust and cardiovascular strength is healthy. The point here is that early death by common disease can be avoided in many ways.

Moreover, exercise can protect against the different forms of dementia. More importantly, it protects the body and joints from the age-related wear and tear. As they say for many of the older generation, “break your hip, die of pneumonia.” This is exactly what they’re constantly trying to avoid at all cost.