You could lengthen your life in just two minutes — at least according to the U’s School of Medicine.

A recent study conducted by the school’s researchers found that spending two minutes walking per hour can potentially add time to your life expectancy. The group compared people who sat for long periods of time without a break to those who engaged in a little exercise for a few minutes each hour.

Using existing national health and nutrition survey data, the researchers found that the average adult spends 35 minutes sitting each hour. When two minutes of that time are traded off for light-intensity activities — walking, lifting weights, etc. — they found a mortality risk decreased by 33 percent.

Standing instead of walking for the two minutes did not produce the same results. The group will conduct further trials to confirm the benefits.

Julie Kiefer, spokesperson for the U’s Health Sciences, said this study differs from others in the field.

“Most studies have focused on determining how much moderate exercise and vigorous exercise that people should do to stay healthy,” she said. “This study shows that even small amounts of light activity can have health benefits if they are done consistently throughout the day.”

Srinivasan Beddhu, the lead investigator of the study and a U professor of internal medicine, said Americans need to be more aware of their lifestyles, particularly when it comes to sitting around. He recommends more moderate to vigorous activity, such as running or biking, in addition to walking.

“We need to … be conscious of how much time we spend sitting,” Beddhu said. “We need to take breaks from sitting frequently.”


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