2-Minute Walk Every Hour May Help Offset Effects of Sitting

A study has revealed that sitting for long hours can increase mortality rate as it can cause varied types of illnesses. The people who sit for more than eight hours daily have a 90% increased rate of getting type 2 diabetes. The average person in America spends approximately 10 hours while sitting and some take more than 12 hours depending with their occupation. For many years, specialists believed that exercise is the best solution to the long hours that are spent while seated but it cannot counteract the effect of sitting for long hours.

2-Minute Walk Every Hour May Help Offset Effects of Sitting

The Dangers of sitting for long hours

The mortality rate associated with long hours of sitting is the same as the one caused by smoking. This is a powerful motivation for people to avoid sitting for long hours or sit only when it is necessary.

Walking for two minutes in every hour

This is one of the tricks that have been uncovered by researchers from a medicine school of Utah to counteract sedentary lifestyle. This can help to reduce the risks associated with excessive sitting when it is unavoidable or in special occupations like telecommunication.

When one is faced with unavoidable circumstances where they have to sit for long periods, one should make a point of walking for at least two minutes in every hour.

The studies reveal that the people who used this trick in their daily life increased their lifespan by 33%. This is a very simple trick that can be used by anyone to reduce the health risks that are associated with prolonged sitting. When one sits for too long, the cellular mechanisms of the body that are involved with maintaining health will start to shut down.

May Help Reduce Risks of Sitting

There are many health benefits of walking for two minutes every hour as explained by a co-director of Mayo clinic, Dr. James Levine. He reported that molecular cascades occur when one gets up after being seated for long periods. The cellular and molecular systems of the body that are concerned with cholesterol, bloods sugar and triglycerides will become activated. The systems are activated when the body carries its own weight and this is achieved when one is walking or standing.

The mechanisms that occur in the cells help to push energy/fuel into the cells and when this is done regularly, it will help to reduce the risk of getting obesity and diabetes. This shows that when the body is looked at from a molecular level, it should be active and in motion the whole day.

Dr. Levine recommends that one should be up and about for at least 10 minutes in every hour because when one sits for long periods, the systems of the body will shut down and this is like preparing the body for death.

Strive to sit for Fewer Hours

It is possible to sit for fewer hours daily as this will help in maintaining of optimum health. A client reported that she had managed to reduce the prolonged sitting of 12-14 hours daily to less than an hour. This client reported that the back pain that she had suffered from for a long time was no more. The back pain would start when she tried to walk or after standing for more than half an hour but when she reduced the sitting, the pain disappeared completely.

Research has shown that reducing the average time taken for sitting everyday to less than 3 hours daily can increase the expectancy of life by two years. On the other hand, the time spent while sitting after 25 years will reduce life expectancy by approximately 22 minutes. Prolonged hours of sitting have been associated with increased risk of getting cancer, type two diabetes and other cardiac conditions to include stroke.


*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.

A Standing Desk is a better option

The time spent sitting while commuting cannot be reduced but the standing desk can provide a better option at the work station. The people who have a job that requires them to sit for long periods should propose a standing desk to their employers. A study done on people who used a standing desk at their work stations showed that they had improved mood and reduced time for sedentary lifestyle. There are many advantages of using a standing desk and this includes increasing the level of good cholesterol in the body, increasing heart rate and reducing weight when used for more than three months. It has also been shown to boost cognitive functioning and performance.

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It is advisable to avoid sitting for long periods as this can have adverse effects on health. Standing for two minutes every hour will reduce the risk of getting diabetes type two, high blood pressure and obesity. The people who work in work stations that require them to sit for long periods are encouraged to get a standing desk.



Sam Kramer is a Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist, Six Sigma Green Belt Certified, and Certified Sports Nutritionis

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