I get to work with some real brilliant people.
A couple weeks ago during a follow-up appointment a patient came up with a super unique physical activity plan for herself.
She works from home and is finding her days continue to be long with sitting and screens.
Here is her plan:
On weekdays she will take four 5 minute bouts of physical activity.
4 x 5 minutes x 5 days
On the weekends, she will have time for more so she will do a slightly altered plan of five minute bouts.
5 x 5 minutes x 2 days
Let's run the math:
Weekdays = 100 minutes
Weekends = 50 minutes
Total of 150 minutes per week!
She is right on target for physical activity guidelines!
See I told you the people I work with are smart!
The type of physical activity was a combination of climbing stairs, dancing to a song(s), walking in the hallway of her condo and completing 1 or 2 different body weight exercises such as 2 sets of 12 sit to stands and/or wall push ups.
Now the question might remain in your head Lisa, is this good enough?
This patient also questioned me if this is actually beneficial.
In fact, there is evidence that short duration physical activity accumulated throughout your day is beneficial for your health.
For individuals with chronic health conditions who have limited capacity, some research has shown that short bouts of arm ergometry (think a bike for your arms) significantly improve physical and cardiovascular function.
If you can boost your intensity level, there is also benefit to short durations. One study looking at sedentary men found that brief intense interval exercise improved indices of cardiometabolic health compared to longer duration sessions of exercise.
We know the benefit for kids too! One study found that short bouts of physical activity in students' day having a small positive effect on math fluency and positive changes in students’ behaviour were noted by the classroom teacher. Now doesn't every teacher want that!
For this patient's case, breaking up her sitting time has some metabolic benefits. Research has found that interrupting long periods of sitting with 3-5 minutes of light walking every 30 minutes can improve blood glucose control in overweight and obese individuals.
One more to read if you are interested…
‘Movement snacks’ and how they might benefit health.
By doing the math, we can start to see physical activity time add up. And add up with reward!
Consider how little bites of exercise might take you closer to your best health!
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S., Has sitting too much at a screen got your shoulders and neck all tied up in knots? Consider joining me on Saturday December 10 for Yoga for the Neck and Shoulders at Yoga Within Edmonton. We will take a targeted approach to find ease and lightness as we role into the busy holiday season!
Missed my most recent newsletter? Don't worry, I've got your back. Find all my exclusive letters here on this blog. ~Lisa