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Slight increase in walking can benefit sedentary workers: study

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Photo: Mark Bowden/iStockphoto

Salt Lake City – Adding two minutes of walking per hour may help office workers offset the ill effects of sitting, according to a study from the University of Utah.

Researchers examined whether longer periods of low-intensity activity (such as standing) and light-intensity activity (such as walking and cleaning) lengthen the life of workers who are sedentary for most of the day. More than 3,000 participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey wore devices that calculated the intensity of their activity.

According to a university press release, the researchers found that replacing sitting with light-intensity activities for two minutes per hour was tied to a 33 percent decreased risk of dying. Substituting two minutes of sitting with low-intensity activity such as standing showed no benefit.

Extended sitting has been tied to various health problems, including diabetes and heart disease.

The study was published online in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.