Sitting down for long periods of time at the office, at home, or on vacation is practically an American pastime.
Unfortunately, our addiction to a sedentary lifestyle could be killing us.
Researchers estimate nearly 75 percent of us engage in sedentary behavior–and it’s increasing our risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer.
Sitting down too long has also been linked to reduced insulin sensitivity, a huge risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
But, if you’re like most Americans, you can’t exactly just jump start an active lifestyle.
So what can help?
According to research from the University of Otago in New Zealand, even small upticks in physical activity, dispersed between longer periods of rest, can help.
And it doesn’t take much.
Engaging in light physical activity every 30 minutes is key, say researchers.
For instance, one study shows it improves glucose control and fat circulation in the bloodstream.
So if you’re feeling the urge to veg out, try doing some sort of physical activity every 30 minutes.
Simply doing a few chores, walking briefly, or even gardening can help raise your heart rate–and reduce your risk of disease for the long haul.