A recent study has highlighted the beneficial effects of incorporating brief moments of exercise, specifically squats, into a sedentary work routine. Researchers found that taking short breaks for one-minute squat exercises significantly enhanced focus, reduced mental fatigue, and improved decision-making abilities among individuals subjected to prolonged sitting.
The study involved 20 young adults who completed mental tasks after extended periods of sitting. Participants alternated between uninterrupted sitting for three hours and breaking up this time with one-minute sessions of squats combined with calf raises, performing around 15 reps each time.
BETTER EXECUTIVE FUNCTION
Results showed that those who engaged in these brief exercise breaks exhibited better executive function, faster reaction times, and reported higher concentration levels and reduced mental fatigue compared to those who remained sedentary. Additionally, measurements of brain blood flow indicated a decrease during prolonged sitting and a slight increase during the short exercise sessions.
However, the study’s routine of repeating the exercises every 20 minutes might pose challenges for individuals engaged in continuous work or meetings.
This research aligns with previous studies suggesting that small bouts of exercise, often termed “exercise snacks,” can benefit overall health and productivity. Studies have demonstrated that even short bursts of activity, such as a brisk walk or wall sits, contribute to improved fitness, reduced blood pressure, and potentially increased longevity.
For those looking to incorporate brief workouts into their daily routines, strategies like “trigger workouts” using cues like household objects or timers can be effective. Furthermore, simply incorporating short walks or minimal steps daily can cumulatively contribute to a healthier lifestyle.