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Cut sitting time by 71 minutes and you may live longer

Taking frequent breaks to reduce sitting time at workplace can help you cut extra body fat, hence lowering the risk of diabetes, heart disease and early death, according to a new study.

The researchers conducted a multicomponent work-based intervention to reduce sitting time and prolonged sitting periods.

The results, which were followed up at 1 month and 3 months, demonstrated a reduction of 0.61 percentage points in body fat percentage. This was as a result of 71 minutes shorter sitting time during working hours after one month.

317 office workers in 19 offices across Greenland and Denmark were randomly put into the control or intervention groups. The intervention included environmental office changes and a lecture and workshop, where workers were encouraged to use their sit-stand desks.

By wearing an accelerometre device, the researchers measured results across a five day working week. After 1 month, participants in the intervention group sat down for 71 minutes less in an 8 hour work day than the control group. This reduced to 48 minutes after 3 months.

The researchers said the number of steps per workday hour was seven percent higher at one month and eight percent higher at three months.