To live longer, it’s important to get up and walk around for 2 minutes every hour.

What you will learn in this article

– Walking for 2 minutes every hour increases life expectancy.
– Practical advice to help you get up and moving for every hour of work.
A new study has shown that getting up and walking around for two minutes every hour can improve the health of sedentary people, including fighting the harmful effects of sitting too long. Walking for 2 minutes reduced the risk of death by more than 30% among study participants. It is known that sitting for a long time increases the risk of mortality.

Sitting down, the “smoking habit” of our generation

Several previous studies have shown that sitting too long during the day increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer (including colorectal cancer ). An increased risk of early death has also been observed.

In 2013, the famous economics blog Harvard Business Review released a highly successful article written by Nilofer Merchant: “Sitting is the smoking of our generation”. In fact, with the increase in working hours in our Western societies, health problems are only likely to get worse. Gone are the days when most workers were on their feet, whether on the farm, factory or grocery store.

The study in detail

American researchers at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City examined data from 3626 participants. They wore a physical activity measuring device throughout the day, providing researchers with information about the participants’ physical activity. The tracking lasted three years and, at the end of this follow-up, 137 people died.

The Utah researchers found that participants who got up and walked around for an average of 2 minutes per hour had a 33% lower death rate than the general population. For those suffering from chronic kidney disease, the drop in mortality was 41%.

This research, however, must be confirmed by other studies conducted in a larger population, as noted by the authors themselves.

This study was published April 30, 2015 in the online Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology .

even small changes

For Dr. Tom Greene, director of a study center at the University of Utah School of Medicine and lead author of the study: “Exercising is great, but the reality is that it is often difficult to exercise intensely (for example, it is difficult to practice bodybuilding in the workplace, for example). Our study shows that even small changes can have a big impact.”

150 minutes of moderate to intense exercise per week

It is recommended to perform at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. That is, walking at a brisk pace for just over 20 minutes every day or 40 minutes every other day, or running at a high pace for 40 minutes twice a week. These recommendations must be maintained.

What this study shows is the importance of counteracting the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle (sitting too long). Furthermore, it is also advisable to get up and walk around for 2 minutes every hour. Working standing up would be even better, but as we will see below, this is not always possible for reasons of cost and comfort.

modular desks

More and more companies, especially in technology, are offering their employees flexible desks where they can work while standing. That is, this furniture can go up and down so that a person can work while sitting or standing. Unfortunately these desks are expensive. If you, like most workers, like a simple desk and chair, consider getting up every hour and walking for 2 minutes to drink some water, for example. You’ll probably also need to go to the bathroom, another opportunity to walk in the next hour.

practical advice

If you work on a computer, this website www.tomato-timer.com (which currently only works in Google Chrome) is a timer and will inspire you to take regular breaks. In this case it’s not every 2 minutes for hours, but 5 minutes every 30 minutes. This is also an ideal tool to increase your productivity, just open the website and press the green “Start” button to start the 25 minutes countdown. After 25 minutes you hear a sound and take a 5 minute break. The cycle can start over as many times as necessary.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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