A new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that even a tiny amount of moderate exercise, as short as 11 minutes, can help to offset the negative health impacts of sitting all day at your desk.
From Fast Company:
The study, a meta-analysis of nine other studies tracking nearly 45,000 people, found that those who were most sedentary risked dying prematurely. But even when people sat as much as 8.5 hours a day, getting just 11 minutes of moderate exercise significantly cut that risk. Thirty to 40 minutes of exercise was even more helpful.
Moderate exercise is considered to be the equivalent of brisk walking or biking, and if you're aiming for 30 minutes a day, it doesn't even have to happen all at once.
"It doesn't matter if you accrue it in 30 minutes or one-minute bouts over 30 occasions," says Keith Diaz, an assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University and one of the coauthors of the study. "The guidelines historically used to recommend that it had to be 10 minutes or more time, and we found that that's just not the case. Any movement, no matter what duration, is beneficial, as long as you accrue enough of it."
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