Want to boost energy, feel happier and eat healthier? It might just take a few five-minute walks.
This, according to a new study supported by Johnson & Johnson and published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Therapy.
In the work, researchers from the University of Colorado randomized 30 adults to either perform six hours of uninterrupted sitting; six hours of uninterrupted sitting plus 30 minutes of moderate-intensity treadmill walking; or six hours of sitting interrupted by five minute “microbouts” of moderate-intensity treadmill walking every hour.
After assessing a number of self-reported health markers, both of the walking groups won out over the fully sedentary group when it came to rating of “energy” and “vigor.” But only the “microbout” walking group had improved measures of mood and reduced fatigue and food cravings when compared to the other two groups.
In conclusion, the researchers wrote, “Introducing short bouts of activity during the workday of sedentary office workers is a promising approach to improve overall well-being at work without negatively impacting cognitive performance.”
Put another way, Jack Groppel, a study author and a founder of the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, told The New York Times, “Even a little bit of activity, spread throughout the day, is a practical, easy way to improve well-being.”
And who doesn’t want that?
To make it happen, set a reminder on your phone or calendar, and hoof it wherever you can: hallways, staircases or even just your office. (If you want to have coworkers join you, great, but there may be equal benefits to going at it alone.)
Soon enough, you might notice an uptick in your energy, as well as a renewed ability to stay out of the office candy stash come 3 p.m.
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