Turns out water cooler chitchat may actually help you live longer. New research shows that workers who take two minutes out of every hour to walk around the office may live longer than their co-workers who remain seated, a new study suggests.
The theory that long periods of sitting contribute to adverse health effects has gained significant backing recently. Researchers from the University of Utah School of Medicine confirmed this theory when they found that simply standing for a few minutes every hour did nothing to counteract the negative effects of sitting, but that engaging in “low intensity activities”, such as walking, was 33% more likely to extend their lifespan relative to peers who did nothing.
“It was fascinating to see the results because the current national focus is on moderate or vigorous activity,” said author Dr. Srinivasan Beddhu. “To see that light activity had an association with lower mortality is intriguing.”
The study looked at data from 2003-2004, when the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey attached an accelerometer to 3,243 participants and measured their physical activity. They were followed for three years, during which time 137 people died.
“Exercise is great, but the reality is that the practical amount of vigorous exercise that can be achieved is limited. Our study suggests that even small changes can have a big impact,” said author Dr. Tom Greene.
The new finding confirm what we’ve thought for years: sitting kills. Quickly and quietly. The good news is that just a small amount of physical activity at regular intervals can counteract the deadly effects of sitting. So get up and walk around – just two minutes per hour could save your life.