We know that sitting for most of the workday is bad for our bodies, but what do we do when this is part of our job? Is there a way to “offset” the effects of sitting?
What is optimal?
According to Columbia University researchers Duran et al., 2023, walking 5 minutes for every 30 minutes of sitting is the optimal dose of movement to improve blood sugar regulation, mood, fatigue and blood pressure. Five different movement patterns were tested and the dose of 5 minutes of walking for every 20-30 minutes produced the greatest positive effect physiologically and mentally in participants.
Can I “store up” my minutes and walk 80 minutes at the end of the day?
Although a long walk is great for our health, the point is that even small doses of movement have big effects! Ideally, we would break up the workday and add movement between meetings. This study tested participants actually getting up every 30 minutes to move for 5 minutes. This means that instead of “saving up” our 5 minute walking times to apply at the end of the workday, we should get up during the workday to walk and move.
How do I apply this? It seems a little daunting…
This may seem like a daunting task, but with planning and intention, we can make this happen! Here’s how:
- If you sit all day and don’t currently walk or exercise to break up the day, you can start by setting a timer once per day to get up and walk for 5 minutes. Arrange your schedule so this actually happens.
- Alternatively, get up each hour for 1 minute and walk around. You can fit that in, right? Yes- you can! Even 1 minute of movement every 60 minutes has been shown to improve blood pressure.
Decide that this matters
- You can improve your health by moving more frequently and strategically each day. You work so you can enjoy your life and have the things you need. News flash- you will need your health to enjoy your life! So, get moving. Decide that it matters and do it.
Check in with yourself daily
- How close did you get to moving 5 minutes every 30 minutes? Write down each time you get up to move during the day. How many check marks do you have at the end of each day? Set a goal to maintain or improve everyday.
Movement does matter! What you do each day consistently, even small things, add up to big results over time.