A new study suggests that getting up from your desk every so often could help prolong your life.
Dr. Srinivasan Beddhu, a nephrologist at the University of Utah, studied survey data from more than 3,000 people who'd been given accelerometers for on average of a little less than three years, and found those who engaged in light physical activity, like walking, for an average of two minutes an hour had a 33 percent lower risk of death.
The study was published today in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
"It's is different pieces of the same puzzle," Beddhu said. "We should have this sedentary awareness. ... Take at least a couple of breaks each hour from sitting."
His study revealed that the participants spent more than half their time doing sedentary activities. Beddhu said people should be mindful to do more than just stand when they step away from their desks. They should take a walk for coffee, for instance, he said.
"One of the big problems that we have in people with chronic kidney disease is that they're not active, and obesity is pretty high, so that's the reason why I got interested in this particular topic," he said." In this study we found that people with chronic kidney disease are much more sedentary than people who are not."
An average of 2 minutes of exercise per hour with some weekly moderate exercise reduced the risk of death by 41 percent in people with chronic kidney disease, he said.
Still, the study is associative, not causal, he said. And it relies on self-reported survey data, which can sometimes be flawed. Beddhu said the next step would be a randomized controlled study to show causation.