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Physical Activity: Break Time

February 21st, 2012

work outNew research on physical activity supports the importance of Break Time— moving periodically throughout the day. Research done at Australia’s Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, suggests that sitting for long periods of time is associated with health risks, including cancer risks. This even applied to people who are regularly active.

The studies showed that biomarkers for chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes such as waist circumference, insulin resistance, and inflammation can all be lowered with activity breaks as short as one to two minutes.

Practical tips for taking many movement breaks throughout the day:

  • Set a timer on your computer or phone to remind you every 60 minutes it’s time to get up and move.
  • “Walk with me.” Need to discuss something with a co-worker? Ask him or her to join you for a walk while you hash it out.
  • Keep light weights or a strength band in your office to use while talking on the phone or reading e-mail.
  • Use your office and/or office wall to do simple things like stretches, leg lifts, or marching in place.

Adapted from reports from the American Institute for Cancer Research Annual Research Conference, 11/ 3/2011.

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