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Two Minutes of Light Exercise Every Hour May Lower Risk of Dying Prematurely

Multiple studies have shown that sitting for extended periods of time, as many Americans do, is detrimental to overall health and may even lead to an earlier death. A recent study suggests that adding just two minutes of walking every hour may help offset some of the negative effects of sitting.

Participants in the study included 3,243 people who took part in the NHANES study. All of the participants wore accelerometers that measured the intensity of their physical activities. There was a three-year follow up period, during which time there were 137 deaths.

After examining the data, the researchers found that decreasing sitting by two minutes every hour had no measurable effect on health. On the other hand, doing light intensity activities, such as walking for two minutes every hour, was associated with a 33% lower risk of dying.

Low intensity activities such as standing did not have the same effect.

The researchers pointed out that strolling for two minutes every hour for 16 hours per day adds up to burning 400 calories per week. This is close to the 600 calorie recommended goal for moderate exercise. While they admitted that moderate exercise every week is better, the researchers hope that this very manageable goal may encourage people to move around more.

Researchers from the Study Design and Biostatistics Center at the Center for Clinical and Translational Science conducted the study. It was published on April 30, 2015, in the Clinical Journal of American Society of Nephrology.

Previous clinical studies suggest that even moderate exercise can reduce your risk of dying prematurely, help with blood sugar control, reduce body weight, improve heart health and improve respiratory health.

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