Here are the Top 5 most common excuses for taking a break from sitting at your desk
Going to the bathroom
Getting a drink
Going to the printer
Here is the number 1 excuse why people don't take a break.
I am too busy!
We all know we should take regular breaks, but how many of us do, not many, the reason is that we assume it is too time consuming. If you are one of those people read on, because I am about to shock you.
In 2008 researches demonstrated that those who took
regular breaks of 4.5 minutes
had narrower waist, lower body mass indexes and more importantly reduced the negative health impacts of sitting. That is under 5 minutes of standing or walking rather than sitting!
Healy et al, 2008, Breaks in Sedentary Time - Beneficial associations with metabolic risk, Diabetes Care, Volume 31, No4 pages 661 - 666 see http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/31/4/661.full#T1
While pinpointing just exactly how long or frequent these breaks need to be is still up for investigation, most people can manage under 5 minutes of walking or standing rather than sitting.
More recent research show signs of improved glucose metabolism with one minute and 40 seconds of walking every 30 minutes for a nine-hour sitting period, this is certainly very good news for anyone struggling with weight issues. I certainly believe one minute and 40 seconds of walking every 30 minutes is a realistic target for everyone including those with the most demanding jobs!
Peddie et al, 2013, Breaking prolonged sitting reduces postprandial glyecmia in healthy, normal-weight adults: a randomized crossover trial, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 98, No 2 pages 358 - 366 see http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/98/2/358.abstract
Dunstan et al, 2012, Breaking up prolonged sitting reduces postprandial glucose and insulin responses, Diabetes Care, Volume 35, No 5, pages 976 - 983 see http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/35/5/976.full
In summary, getting up and walking for under 5 minutes around at least twice an hour can keep your skeletal muscles turned on and lower the risk of a wide range of chronic diseases.