Science Says Moving Five Minutes Every Hour Can Help Combat Impacts of Physical Inactivity

Completing 30 minutes of extra-light activity, like yoga, can also help with reconditioning.

Finding ourselves in sedentary state during the day happens from time to time, especially now, with so many people working from home and spending the bulk of their days indoor. However, moving for just five minutes out of every hour can help prevent the health effects linked to this inactivity. A research team out of King's College London published a recent study in the journal BMJ Neurology Open that examined physical activity in people who were anywhere from very agile and mobile to requiring help to move while living with genetic muscle disorders, like muscular dystrophy, in 2019 and towards the end of 2020 to find out how movement could impact their lifestyles.

In the study, the team also researched 41 people in wheelchairs. Their findings overall applied to people of all moving capabilities since isolation in quarantine or going between in-person to remote work adjust people's normal routines. Specifically due to the pandemic, the researchers round that physical activity declined in the study volunteers, going from about an hour and a half of fitness to less than 25 minutes every day. And participants even moved less altogether by 11 percent. The study authors found this by using sensors that recorded the duration, timing, and degree of movement in four categories: robust, mild, low, and sedentary.

woman stretching working at desk
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They found that just moderate fitness and often physical movement helps boost with heath. "Even people who don't do much exercise have been impacted by lockdown inactivity. During COVID-19 lockdown, our study detected an extra hour per day of inactivity in disabled and independent adults with neuromuscular diseases. Moving less is detrimental to health. Reduced activity can be especially harmful for those with neuromuscular conditions, disabilities or advanced age," said Sarah Roberts-Lewis, the lead author and neurological physiotherapist, in a university release.

"The reduction in light activity measured in this study is likely to be similar for anybody whose daily routine has been restricted by lockdown. Based on our findings, we suggest people move their bodies for five minutes each hour during the day. Additionally, spend 30 minutes each day doing some extra light activity, like yoga or chair exercises. The World Health Organization activity guidelines state 'every move counts'; they provide suggestions about light activities suitable for all abilities. Simple changes can help with reconditioning during and after lockdown," Roberts-Lewis added.

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