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Short walks can offset damage of prolonged sitting

Posted at 7:36 PM, Sep 09, 2014

There's a ray of light for office workers. New research suggests short walks could offset the damage done by prolonged sitting.

Researchers looked at 12 healthy men who took part in two trials. In one they sat for three hours and didn't move their legs — that must have been really boring. In another, they sat and also walked on a treadmill at various points.

The study was done by Indiana University, and according to its press release: "Study participants who walked for five minutes for each hour of sitting saw their arterial function stay the same. ... It is likely that the increase in muscle activity and blood flow accounts for this."

The release also said when people sit, "slack muscles do not contract to effectively pump blood to the heart," which means blood can just sit there and pool in the legs. Indiana University calls the findings "the first experimental evidence of these effects."

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