To Your Health
February, 2024 (Vol. 18, Issue 02)
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15 Minutes a Day

By Editorial Staff

No matter how busy you think you are, we're guessing you can find a mere 15 minutes a day to do something that will effectively cancel out one of the major health risks you may be facing. We're talking about a sedentary lifestyle (particularly sitting), and only 15 minutes of sitting less can counter it, according to research.

While people who spend most of their workday sitting are more likely to die sooner of any cause and specifically from cardiovascular (heart) disease compared with people who don't sit much at work, increasing physical activity away from work by at least 15 minutes daily appears to mitigate the increased risk. The people who sat most of the day, but increased their activity, had similar health risks compared to the people who didn't sit much, but were essentially inactive away from work.

15 Minutes a Day - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Published in JAMA Network Open, the study was big (nearly 500,000 adults), with participants followed for more than a decade after researchers initially assessed their sedentary behavior. Of note, people who alternated sitting and standing (e.g., with a sit-stand desk) during work hours also had similar risks as people who sat less (non-sitters).

The bottom line: Get up and move more! Whether it's during the workday or after you get home, make sure you keep your body moving. You'll live longer and live healthier. (This is one of many studies suggesting, as we've said before, that "movement is life.") If you struggle to motivate yourself to get active after a busy workday, ask your doctor for help outlining a post-work exercise routine. Remember, a mere 15 minutes makes a big difference.