Whatever you’re doing, taking a break for just 5 MINUTES every hour will refresh your mind, improve your mood, increase your energy levels, and even quash cravings for food.
Spending hours a day sitting behind a desk is known to have consequences for your health, but scientists now say that just a five-minute walk could negate some of the risks.
According to a new study recently published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, researchers found that taking brief, repeated breaks from work to stand up and move around has sustained benefits for your mood and energy levels.
The study revealed that the benefits of these hourly five-minute activity sessions were found to last all day, and could even help to alleviate food cravings while you’re at work. In fact the benefits of regular and short activity breaks were found to be better for you than the single early morning workout favoured by some, the effectiveness if which wears off after a time.
After hourly short breaks, participants showed a sustained increase in energy levels as well as improved mood, decreased feelings of fatigue and appetite.
The sedentary lifestyle of sitting in an office all day increases the risks of diabetes, depression, and obesity, and office workers are most at risk. Prolonged and uninterrupted sitting time is bad for you!
In order to find out how different activities affected workers, a team of researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Centre and the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, investigated three movement conditions across 30 adults, all of whom were first given a number of tests to assess their health, as well as being questioned about their self-perceived energy, mood, and appetite.
In the first test, the participants sat for 6 hours straight, getting up only to use the bathroom. In the second, they started the day with 30 minutes of moderate walking on a treadmill, while in the third they underwent six five-minute sessions of moderate intensity walking at hourly intervals.
The researchers monitored participant’s stress hormone levels, and had participants rate their mood, energy, fatigue, and appetite throughout the day.
The experiments revealed a number of benefits linked to the five-minute activity sessions. Interesting to note that neither regimen was found to effect cognitive function.
The results suggest that even a little bit of activity, spread throughout the day, is a practical, easy way to improve well-being.
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