We’ve known for a while that sitting for long periods of time is bad for our health, even deadly. People who sit all of the time are more likely to have high cholesterol, to be obese, and to have cardiovascular issues. The solution is always the same, walk and exercise more, without any quantification. However, we live in a world of computers and have a tendency to sit in basically the same location for hours at a time.
Some research out of Indiana University has shown that you can stop, and actually repair, damage being caused by sitting. All you need to do is take a relaxed five-minute walk every hour (or so).
For the actual test, researchers took 12 men and divided them into two groups: “health conscientious guys who’ll walk around every once in a while” and “people who sit at the computer for hours without moving” (you know, the people like you and I). The walking group took slow walks ever hour for three hours while the other group sat still for the same amount of time. The researchers then compared ultrasounds of taken of the femoral artery both before and after the three hour period.
Interestingly enough, for the group that sat still, the femoral artery had “decreased dilation” by as much as 50%, which naturally lead to decreased blood flow to the legs. The other group didn’t experience any decrease in dilation; none at all. Even though the sample size was small, the results are still statistically significant to such an extent that the study is very interesting.
So, what can we take away from this? Getting off of the computer and walking around a little is really good for your health. Maybe you can’t do it every hour, and maybe you can’t do it for five minutes, but it’s a little thing you can do that could really help improve your health. We’ve known for a long time that sitting for long periods of time is bad and walking is good, now we actually have some numbers. Now, stand up, stretch your legs, and walk to the fridge to get a beer. Your body will thank you.
A big thanks to ScienceAlert for bringing this to our attention.