The researchers didn’t stop at cardiovascular risk, either. In fact, the results also showed that all the snacks—except walking for one minute every hour—led to improvements in fatigue levels and mood. As Diaz explains, “The effects on mood and fatigue are important…people tend to repeat behaviors that make them feel good and that are enjoyable.”
With only 11 participants, this is an extremely small study, so we have to take the results with a grain of salt. Still, it’s very helpful to have a concrete idea of how frequently and for how long we need to walk to counteract the effects of sitting. Fortunately, the same group of researchers is conducting another study testing 25 different exercise “snacks” on a larger sample size of people, which will give us even more clarity. For now, what we know for sure is that getting up to walk to get coffee, investing in a standing desk, or scheduling a walking meeting can benefit our health in more ways than one.
If you want to walk more during your workday, here are some ideas to help you accomplish that: