A businesswoman in a white blouse and pink coat is walking along a city street, in her hands she has mug of coffee, a tablet, a notebook

The surprising importance of 5-minute walk breaks

In conjunction with a healthy diet, adding physical activity to your daily routine can do wonders for your health. But that doesn’t mean you need to spend hours at the gym.

A recent study found that taking 5-minute walks every half-hour could offset the health risks caused by sitting at a desk for most of your day.

According to the study, people who moved just five minutes every half-hour saw blood sugar spikes after a meal reduced by almost 60%.

If you think you don’t have enough time to sneak exercise into your daily routine, you can still add frequent, short bouts of movement throughout the day to benefit your health.

How often should you exercise?

It’s advised that you get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, but the CDC claims you can break this up into smaller chunks, 30 minutes a day, five times a week, for example, or even shorter breaks that are more frequent.

While taking a 5-minute walk may not count as a ‘moderate-intensity’ exercise for most people, you could increase the intensity by:

  • Walking faster
  • Adding stairs to your walk
  • Swinging your arms

Listening to upbeat music could also make it easier for you to pick up the pace.

When is the best time to walk?

You may not be able to take walks every day. But research shows that strolls after a meal can help improve blood sugar levels.

Why is this? Because when we exercise, our muscles require glucose – or sugar – as the fuel source. And physical activity helps to clear glucose out of the bloodstream and into the muscle where it’s needed, helping to lower your blood sugar.

You may also feel less tired and find a significant difference in your mood when you take frequent walks throughout the day. With that in mind,  getting up from your desk during the day could not only improve your health  but might even increase your productivity at work!


This article was written by the GOLO team with facts supported by the following sources: 

AHA Journals

American College of Sports Medicine


American Diabetes Association


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