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Sitting? Get Up and Move Every 30 Minutes

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Sitting? Get Up and Move Every 30 Minutes

By Wendy Bumgardner, About.com Guide

July 22, 2013

About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board

Sitting at deskIf you are a desk jockey like me, you could sit for hours at a time, then think you are fine by just going for a lunch time walk1 or hitting the treadmill after work. But a study shows that a short walking break of under two minutes every half hour helped healthy, normal weight adults regulate their blood sugar better. This is helpful advice for those of us who want to prevent metabolic syndrome2 and type 2 diabetes3.

The study used 70 healthy adults who sat for a 9-hour day. They compared the effects on blood glucose, insulin and triglyceride levels after a meal with different types of activity. One day the subject would only have a 30-minute walking break during the day. On another day they would walk for 1 minute, 40 seconds after every 30 minutes of sitting.

The short walking breaks every 30 minutes reduced glucose and insulin levels better than the 30-minute walking break, and both reduced levels compared to not getting up at all. The 30-minute walk was better at reducing triglyceride levels4. That finding is similar to a study I reported on last month that said walking after a meal helped blood sugar control5.

This study adds more evidence that sitting increases your health risks6. What should you do during a long work day? Get up every 30 minutes, and also take a walk after eating lunch. I wear a Jawbone UP 7set to vibrate after 30 minutes of inactivity.
More: Sitting time apps and inactivity monitors8 you can use to remind yourself to move.

Photo © Wendy Bumgardner
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