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Do you have a desk job where you sit down all day? If so, then you may want to stick around to learn this simple trick that’ll help boost your mood and energy levels, a small new study suggests.
A study that involved 30 healthy adults, typically not very active during the day, shows that getting up from your desk a few minutes a time throughout the day can help increase your energy, thus improving your productivity.
Background of the study
The individuals had to visit a health center three times. Each visit was one week apart and was measured by either sitting for full day, or had some kind of activity. Here is how the visits went:
- At the first visit, the individuals sat for a full 6 hours, and were only allowed to be released for bathroom breaks.
- At the second visit, the participants exercised for 30 minutes on a treadmill in the morning, before sitting for the rest of the 6-hour period.
- The final visit, the participants sat for most of the day, but got up every hour for a short five minutes of walking on a treadmill, giving the individuals a total of 30 minutes of exercise over the entire day. Consider using an under table bike pedal for continuous activity.
Note: This study was conducted by Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions.
How the participants responded
For the study, the individuals were asked about how their energy levels, mood and food cravings at several points throughout the day.
The participants responded with more energy levels on both the days they were exercising (30 minutes in the morning and short bouts of activity throughout the day), compared to when they were just sitting for the entire day.
However, the individuals that engaged in short walks throughout the day had reported better mood and lower levels of fatigue and food cravings at the end of the day, compared to when they had only exercised in the morning before sitting down all day.
A quote from a published study of the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, from researchers of the University of Colorado Anschutze Medical Campus:
Introducing short bouts of activity during the workday of sedentary office workers is a promising approach to improve overall well-being at work
Standing Desks Increases energy levels too
There’s a 2014 study from researchers at the University of Minnesota, where they found that people who switched from a regular computer desk to a standing desk (whether its a converter or electric) had experienced an increase in their energy levels as well. In addition, they had a reduction in fatigue and appetite.
In general, the study shows that participants that exercised, whether in the morning, or throughout the day, had increased their energy levels and in fact puts people in a better mood. The one thing to note is that the effect of only exercising in the morning fades throughout the day, whereas engaging in activities throughout the day lasts longer.