5 easy minutes to better health

I love telling you about simple, easy things that offer big payoffs for your health. And this one may just take the cake…

New research shows that a leisurely 5-minute walk can reverse the harm caused to leg arteries during prolonged sitting.

I’ve talked about the dangers of sitting disease many times before.  And this study highlights yet another risk involved with sitting for prolonged periods of time.

When you’re sitting, especially for extended intervals, your muscles don’t contract enough. And that means blood isn’t being effectively pumped to the heart. This blood can then pool in the legs and affect arterial function, or the ability of blood vessels to expand from increased blood flow.

We’re talking about major vessel constriction. In fact, according to this study, sitting for just one hour can result in as much as a 50-percent reduction in blood flow to the legs.

But participants who walked for just 5 minutes after each hour of sitting, experienced virtually no adverse effects in their arterial function.

By the way, this study was done with non-obese, healthy men, age 20 to 35. So imagine how much worse the circulation issues become when you’re older and overweight.

The bottom line: Get up and get moving. It’s a gift from the universe that a 5-minute walk is all it takes to improve your health. So accept it graciously.


“Effect of Prolonged Sitting and Breaks in Sitting Time on Endothelial Function.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2014, epub ahead of print, 8/18/14

“Taking short walking breaks found to reverse negative effects of prolonged sitting,” Science Daily, 9/8/14 (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140908083748.htm)