Brief Walks Can Reverse the Harmful Effects of Prolonged Sitting

Sitting all day long comes with a pretty terrible list of risks: back pain, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and more. Fortunately, there’s a way to counter that, aside from picking up a sit-stand desk: just take a few brief walks throughout the day.

A study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise has found that taking three walks of five minutes over three hours of sitting can reverse the damage sitting causes your leg arteries.

Researchers had twelve non-obese men divide into two groups. The first group sat at desks for three hours straight. The second also sat at desks, but also walked on treadmills at a slow pace (two miles per hour) for five minutes every thirty minutes. Researchers then measured endothelial function in the men’s femoral arteries—this can be done using ultrasound imaging.

The group that sat for three hours straight experienced an astonishing 50% drop in artery dilatation, which, of course, led to a drop in rate of blood flow—presumably, a reduction in blood and oxygen causes some of those poor health outcomes we mentioned earlier. By contrast, men in the second group experienced no such drop.

So, not only can walking help your creativity, it can improve your health with very little investment on your end. So get walkin’—your health depends on it.

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