Short walks reverse ill effects of sitting: study

Bloomington, IN – Taking three slow five-minute walks can cancel out ill effects to the arteries caused by three hours of sitting, according to a study from Indiana University, Bloomington.

As part of the study, researchers included 11 healthy men 20-35 years old in two trials. In one trial, the men sat for three hours without moving their legs. In the second trial, the men sat for three hours and then walked on a treadmill for five minutes at a speed of 2 mph three separate times. Researchers measured functionality of the femoral artery four times in each trial.

Sitting for one hour was found to reduce the ability of leg arteries to expand by as much as 50 percent. The men who walked five minutes for each hour of sitting experienced no reduction in artery function, likely due to increased muscle activity and blood flow, the researchers said.

The study was published online Sept. 8 in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, a journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.