We often associate ‘taking a break’ with a chance to chill, put our feet up, or sit in front of the TV. A just-published study in the journal Obesity shows that an entirely different type of break can have significant health benefits: this is, a break in the time we spend being sedentary.
This had already been an active area of research – there are over 845 papers published on this topic! The new study examined pooled data from 13 of the most rigorously conducted research papers. The authors found that blood sugars normalized in subjects who consistently took two minute breaks for every 20 minutes of continuous sitting. Markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein) also seemed to improve. The authors did not separate patients out by race or ethnicity, so it’s not entirely clear how it would apply to Hawaii’s multiracial population, but it seems reasonable to think results would be similar in studies conducted here.
This is certainly a wake-up call that clocking our 30 minutes on the treadmill each morning may not be enough to keep us healthy – we probably need to move in bits and pieces throughout our day. So jump off from your chair whenever you can. Even if it is just a few moments to stroll to the window to look outside (such as at the palm trees outside OSR’s window), you are doing your body good.
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