A growing body of research over the last three decades or so has highlighted that sitting for long hours at a time is not good for your health. Experts say individuals such as office workers and drivers need to walk regularly in between stints of sitting.
A meta-analysis of data published between 1989 and 2013 found that being in a sedentary position for more than 8-hours a day with little to no physical activity increases the risk of early mortality.
Sitting has been likened to smoking and obesity. Unless you exercise, the risk of serious health conditions including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, cardiovascular disease and cancer increase.
Researchers concluded that 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week offset the negative health effects of sitting. Moderate activity is considered as an exercise that increases your heart rate and makes you breathe faster.
Another study showed that 40-minutes of brisk walking offset 10-hours of sitting.
The NHS lists the following as examples of moderate-intensity activities include:
- brisk walking
- water aerobics
- riding a bike
- doubles tennis
- pushing a lawnmower
What is Brisk Walking?
Brisk walking is one of the easiest and most effective workouts to improve your cardiovascular system.
There is some discrepancy about what brisk walking is. It’s safe to say that brisk walking involves moving at a faster pace than usual. Speeds are given between 2-3 mph.
One way to determine if you’re brisk walking is to try singing. If you’re walking fit enough you should be able to talk but not sing. The other way is to measure your heart rate.
Most adults should record a heart rate that is about 50-70% increase from their normal heart rate during moderate-intensity activities.
Heart rate differs between individuals and age. Check out the chart from The American Heart Association to determine which ballpark you should be in.
What are the Benefits of Brisk Walking?
Brisk walking is akin to aerobics. As a form of exercise, it will make you breathe deeper and harder, increase your blood flow and help you to burn calories.
This is important for people with sedentary jobs. A lack of exercise is strongly linked with cardiovascular issues and obesity has been linked with a number of illnesses including poor mental health.
When you breathe more deeply, you take more oxygen into your blood. This is good for the body because it creates more white blood cells that fight bacteria, viruses and disease.
Because oxygen also promotes improved blood flow to the brain, cognitive function also gets a boost. This helps to raise your performance and maintain a steady rate of productivity.
As a matter of fact, experts are encouraging more office workers to find reasons to walk more often – such as walking whilst talking on your mobile phone and walking meetings.
Neuroscience has shown that walks help to relax the brain and release chemicals that support executive function. As a result, you will be able to retain your focus for longer and work more efficiently when you return to your desk.
One study also found that walking meetings break down hierarchical barriers which lead to better employee engagement and bonding between managers and their teams.
Walking is also known to lower stress levels and promote mood and energy levels. Taking regular walk breaks, therefore, helps you to foster better mental health and supports the health and wellbeing programs that are starting to find their way into the workplace.
Walk with Sweatcoin
Whilst brisk walking delivers more health benefits in a shorter space of time, experts recommend that you should take a break from sitting and walk around every 30 minutes to help stimulate blood flow.
To encourage more walking, sweatcoin has developed an app that counts your steps – then turns your steps into digital tokens which can be used to purchase merchandise from over 300 merchants.
So what are you waiting for – download the sweatcoin app now and start earning.