That's the advice from a new study, which suggests that taking more breaks -- even as little as one minute -- from extended sitting can be beneficial for both your waistline and heart. The idea is to break up lengthy sedentary time with frequent intervals of activity.
The study found that in people who spend long hours sitting down, the more breaks they take during this time, the smaller their waists. Participants who took the most breaks from sitting (up to 1,258 short breaks in one week) were about two pant sizes smaller than those who took the fewest (as few as 99 breaks in one week).
A svelter waistline also means less abdominal fat and better heart health, as a large waist circumference is associated with an increased risk for high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
So stand up, move more. Even if you have no time to clock in more exercise in your life, there's really no excuse for not getting on your feet. Here are some practical tips:
- Stand up while you're taking phone calls.
- Move around and stretch with these office workouts.
- Take the stairs instead of the lift where possible. If your office is on a high floor, take the lift to 3 floors below and climb the stairs the rest of the way.
- Go to the bathroom at the furthest corner from your office, or use one on a different floor.
- Instead of phoning or emailing a colleague, walk to her cubicle and talk face-to-face.
- At home when watching TV, get off the couch to do lunges and squats during commercials.
- Instead of parking your car at the nearest lot, opt for a further one so you can walk to your destination.