What 5-Minute Walks Every 30 Minutes Can Do For Your Body If You Sit All Day At Work

Moving your body throughout the day sounds like a good idea, but if you're sitting in front of a computer all day, that might be a tricky task. While a midday workout session might not be attainable, bite-sized amounts of activity spaced throughout the day might be more manageable. A 2023 study revealed that physical activity in small increments throughout a day of sitting at a desk can actually have a big impact on your health (via Healthline).

Research is clear that too much sitting can be bad for your health (per Mayo Clinic). When you sit for long periods of time, it can impact not only your weight but your blood sugar, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and body fat around the waist. It can even increase your risk of death from cancer and heart disease. And studies have shown that if you sit for more than eight hours a day (like most who work at a desk are apt to do), your risk of death is similar to that of someone who is a smoker or obese.

But it's not all doom and gloom — research also shows that even small amounts of exercise can combat the effects of too much sitting.

Frequent movement throughout the day can help improve your health

A new study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise explored how just a few minutes of exercise per hour could impact health (via Healthline). Researchers studied 11 participants who sat in ergonomic chairs for eight hours, getting up only to use the bathroom or perform their assigned exercises. The different levels of exercise were one minute of walking every 30 minutes, five minutes every 30 minutes, one minute after 60 minutes, five minutes every 60 minutes, and no walking at all.

They found that walking for five minutes every 30 minutes significantly lowered participants' blood sugar and blood pressure. Walking for just one minute every 30 minutes also showed modest improvements in blood sugar. But walking every 60 minutes didn't show any improvement in blood sugar levels at all, pointing to the importance of walking frequently. All measurements of walking showed some improvements in blood pressure.

If you're worried about your blood sugar levels, the study showed that walking for five minutes every 30 minutes will help quite a bit. But if you want to improve your blood pressure, smaller amounts of walking throughout your day will suffice.