The Unexpected Benefit Of Adding A 5-Minute-Walk To Every Hour

Walking every day is known to have tremendous health benefits. Whether you wake up early for a brisk walk before work, or walk several times throughout the day, this physical activity helps you burn calories and supports weight loss efforts. It also helps alleviate joint pain and reduces risk of disease, points out Prevention

According to Men's Journal, sitting for extended periods of time (which is often typical for eight-hour workdays in the office) can be detrimental to health because sitting decreases blood flow to your heart. Over time, a sedentary lifestyle may impair the functions of blood vessels, which may increase the odds of cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disease (via Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise). That's where a five-minute walk every hour comes in.

The journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise published a study examining the unexpected benefits of short walks and found that two to five-minute walks may help prevent the deterioration that occurs from prolonged bouts of sitting. Not only does it counteract sitting, but the researchers found it improves blood flow, circulation, and vascular health. Born Fitness shares that these health markers from walking can show up in a mere four days.

More benefits of walking every hour

On top of the vascular health benefits, another study found that there are other unexpected benefits gained from regular five-minute walks every hour. Researchers from this 2016 study found that frequent walks improve mood, boost energy, reduce cravings, and help lessen feelings of fatigue throughout the day. That's right: according to the study, brief and frequent walks can be a low-cost mood booster to help break up the day and meet your fitness goals.

"Even a little bit of activity, spread throughout the day, is a practical, easy way to improve well-being," points out study author Jack Groppel to New York Times.

Believe it or not, taking frequent walks throughout the day doesn't negatively impact cognitive function. In fact, the researchers found that cognitive scores and stress levels remained the same whether volunteers walked frequently or sat all day.

If you're looking for a new weight-loss tool, five-minute walks every hour may be a possible solution. According to the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, it's possible to burn up to an extra 660 calories each week if you add five-minute walks every hour to your fitness plan. Over time, those calories may compound and may help with weight loss. Of course, eating a nutritious diet, getting quality sleep, and staying properly hydrated all help too.