New study reveals exercise trick to erase effects of sitting



Modern life is nothing if it isn’t comfortable, and what could be more comfortable than sitting down? With work, Netflix and everything in between, most people spend a lot more time each day sitting than standing. Research published in JAMA in 2019 found that the average American teenager sits 7-8 hours a day, while the average adult discharges 6 hours each day.

If you think that sounds bad, remember that these numbers are from before the pandemic. Another study, published in Frontiers in Psychology, focused on lifestyle changes brought on by COVID-19. Researchers have reported a 28% increase in the time spent sitting all over the world. So, if you’ve been lounging more than usual for the past year and a half, you are definitely not alone.

So why is lounging for long hours so bad for us? When we sit down, our leg muscles stop working. This means that the largest muscles in the body absorb a minimum of sugar in the blood, therefore slow down metabolism and interfere with blood sugar regulation, fat breakdown and blood pressure. The end result of these metabolic changes is more sugar and cholesterol in the blood, which means a greater risk of diabetes and heart disease. Many scientists and doctors in recent years have even gone so far as to call “sat the new smoker.”

If you have a job that requires long hours of sitting, reading all of this can be more than a little scary. Fortunately, a new study has just appeared in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism has discovered a simple way to counter the harmful health effects of sitting all day. Read on to find out more and for more great exercise tips, don’t miss the secret side effects of lifting weights for the first time, according to Science.

The study authors advise getting up and spending 3 minutes walking, climbing stairs, or even taking out a few show jumps for every consecutive half hour spent in a sedentary lifestyle. This approach appears to help offset some of the harmful effects of sitting. Aim for at least 15 steps as a bare minimum during each 3-minute break.

When a small group of study participants followed the above instructions, their daily blood sugar fluctuations improved. The subjects also showed lower levels of bad cholesterol and fasting glucose. The researchers say these changes are likely due to improvements in blood flow brought on by more movement.

“Every waking hour spent in sedentary postures (i.e. sitting or lying down) increases the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes,” comment the study authors, “therefore, sedentary behavior may offer a pragmatic and easy way to interpret a public health intervention for insulin sensitivity and metabolic well-being. “

After a few weeks of following the “30 minutes sitting, 3 minutes moving” rule, participants had lower fasting blood sugar levels in the morning, suggesting that their bodies had become more adept at controlling blood sugar levels during the period. sleep. Additionally, blood sugar levels throughout the day were more stable, with fewer dips and peaks. And for more great exercise tips, check out these 5 Minute Workouts for a Flatter, Faster Stomach.

eat standing up

Know that this strategy will not come undone all unhealthy effects associated with sitting. If you have time to get up and move around Following that only 3 minutes, do it by all means.

The 30min / 3min strategy did not ultimately improve the overall glucose tolerance or fat content in the muscles of the participants. So the researchers conclude that taking at least 15 steps every 30 minutes is probably the bare minimum to stay active throughout the day.

In other words, it will help improve metabolic health, but it won’t work wonders when it comes to glucose tolerance. More sustained physical activity patterns for longer periods are necessary for this. Still, the study authors say that over time, sticking to the 30-minute / 3-minute strategy may be enough to help many people avoid type 2 diabetes.

“Our intervention may represent the minimum effective dose to break sedentary behavior, with large volumes of total activity required to achieve greater health benefits,” the research team says.

It is also important to note that participants who moved more (took more steps, climbed more stairs, etc.) during their 3-minute breaks experienced greater metabolic benefits. Subjects who regularly completed 75 steps per break had the greatest metabolic benefits.


The research team, based at Karolinska Institute in Sweden, brought together 16 obese middle-aged men and women living sedentary lifestyles. Everyone wore an activity monitor for a normal week and underwent a series of metabolic tests. This was done to achieve some basic activity / metabolism data.

From there, half of the subjects were placed in a control group and ordered to continue with their usual daily lives. The other half were assigned to the active group and tasked with downloading an app to their phone that sent alerts every 30 minutes with a reminder to get up and move around. After three weeks, all subjects underwent another round of metabolic testing.

While many previous studies have investigated the influence of activity breaks on sedentary living, this work broke away from the pack by allowing subjects to live their usual lives. Most of the previous studies have been confined to laboratory settings and much shorter time periods.

“To our knowledge, this is the longest-term study to study the impact of [frequent activity breaks from sitting] and, as such, our results have important translational implications, ”the researchers note.

Silhouette young woman exercising on the beach at sunset

We all want to get moving and exercise more, but there are only a limited number of hours in the day. Not to mention, it can be difficult to get up every half hour at work when busy with an important project or attending a large meeting. The study authors suggest setting an alarm on your phone to help remind you to get up and move around. Even a short walk to the bathroom is enough.

If you can’t stick to the 30 minute / 3 minute rule every half hour of every day, don’t worry. Instead, try to inject more movement into other areas of your life.

“Start the gardener, do it yourself,” Cathy Spencer-Browning, vice president of training and programming at MOSSA, a group fitness provider, once told us. “Take your own grocery bags, park away from the store entrance and go fast, go up the stairs – every time, take a walk on the phone, do your old-fashioned housework – get down on your knees. Either way, choose movement over sitting. “And to learn more about the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle, see here what happens to your body when you sit too much every day, say the experts.


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