Standing desks may not be the answer. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Are you sitting down right now?

How long have you been sitting?

If it’s been longer than 30 minutes, you should probably stand up.

Taking as few as 15 steps every 30 minutes could be the difference between feeling tired and sluggish and feeling energised at the end of the day, new research shows.

A study by Australian and Swedish researchers, published last week in the British Medical Journal, shows that intermittent, light-intensity walking may counteract fatigue, particularly among office workers.

The study examined the energy levels of 19 overweight adults in Melbourne aged between 45 and 75.

For the first part of the study, the participants spent seven hours sitting, rising only if they needed to go to the toilet. For the second part, the participants went for a three-minute, light-intensity walk every 30 minutes.

The participants said they felt less tired at the end of the day when they interrupted the long hours of sitting with light-intensity walks.

On average, Australian adults sit for up to nine hours a day.

That could make for a very tired nation, and an unhealthy one.

Studies have linked prolonged sitting to a 24 per cent increase in the likelihood of fatal heart disease and some forms of cancer.

In addition, prolonged sitters face a 91 per cent greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes.


Source: Light-intensity walk, every 30 minutes could increase energy levels