Prolonged sitting can have detrimental effects on our health, but a new study by exercise physiologists at Columbia University offers a simple solution: take a five-minute walk every half hour to combat the negative effects of sedentary work. This technique has been found to lower blood sugar levels by 58% compared to sitting all day. Blood sugar and blood pressure are important indicators of cardiovascular health, and this simple technique can help improve them.
Effects of walking on blood sugar, blood pressure, fatigue and mood
Columbia University has found that taking a five-minute walk every half hour during periods of prolonged sitting is the most effective method for reducing blood sugar levels. The study, which lasted for eight hours and five separate days, tested five different exercise conditions: one minute of walking after every 30 minutes of sitting, one minute after 60 minutes, five minutes of walking every 30 minutes, five minutes every 60 minutes and finally no walking (control). Glucose and blood pressure were measured every 15 and 60 minutes, respectively.
Compared to the control group, only the five-minute walk every half hour condition had a significant effect on blood sugar levels. However, the study authors note that lower doses of walking may still be effective in reducing blood pressure. Additionally, all conditions except for the one-minute walk every hour showed a positive effect on fatigue and mood.
It is important to note that the study was conducted on a small group of eleven middle-aged participants without diabetes or high blood pressure. The researchers are now expanding their study by testing 25 different doses of walking on a wider variety of people to further confirm the results.