Study: Walking 2 Minutes Each Hour Offsets Sedentary Lifestyle

Walking for 2 minutes every hour could offset the health hazards caused by sitting for long periods of time, according to a recent study.

Previous studies have linked long periods of sitting during the day to premature death, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.

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In order to determine if longer durations of low intensity activities such as standing and light intensity activities such as walking could extended the life span of those who sit for more than half of their hours spent awake, researchers evaluated data from 3,243 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants wore accelerometers to measure their various activities.

Overall, researchers discovered there was no benefit to replacing 2 minutes of sitting with 2 minutes of low intensity activities like standing, but that light intensity activities like casual walking, gardening, or cleaning performed for 2-minutes per hour yielded a 33% decreased risk of mortality.

“Based on these results we would recommend adding two minutes of walking each hour in combination with normal activities, which should include 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week,” explained Srinivasan Beddhu, MD, an author of the study and professor of internal medicine at the University of Utah.

The complete study is published in the April issue of Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

-Michelle Canales Butcher


1. University of Utah Health Care. Walking an extra two minutes each hour may offset hazards of sitting too long. April 30, 2015. doi:10.2215/ CJN.08410814. Accessed May 5, 2015.

2. Beddhu S, Wei G, Marcus RL, et al. Light-intensity physical activities and mortality in the United States general population and CKD subpopulation. CJASN. 2015 April [epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-14-1748.