Do you spend your day sitting for long hours? Beware, it may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Getting up and taking brisk walks for two minutes every half an hour may significantly lower the level of fatty acids that lead to clogged arteries, researchers say.
The study found that people who spend increasing time sitting may be at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes or death from all causes.
On the other hand, short regular walking breaks, 30 minutes of continuous physical activity, and especially the two combined, could potentially improve people's metabolic health, the researchers noted in the paper published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology.
"We believe there is an important health message here -- the traditional half-hour block of moderate to vigorous activity is important, but so is limiting long periods of sitting by undertaking regular short bouts of activity throughout the day," said lead author Meredith Peddie from the University of Otago in New Zealand.
Previous studies have established that office workers taking brisk walks for two minutes every half hour lower their blood glucose and insulin levels.
"This approach, if maintained over months or years, may be enough to explain why individuals who regularly break up sedentary time have better cardio-metabolic health outcomes," Peddie added.