Short Walking Breaks Benefit Blood Pressure

Five minutes of strolling through the office every thirty minutes can significantly reduce blood pressure.

According to a study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, five minutes of strolling through the office — or just getting up and moving around when you work from home every thirty minutes — can significantly reduce both blood pressure and blood sugar.

Researchers invited 11 healthy volunteers to go through five simulated workdays in a lab, where they were required to stay seated all day except for brief walking breaks on a treadmill and the occasional trip to the bathroom. Participants could type on a laptop, read, and use their phones. Researchers also provided meals.On each of the five days, volunteers were randomly assigned to a different schedule of walking breaks: five minutes every 30 or 60 minutes, one minute every 30 or 60 minutes, or no walking at all.

Compared with those sitting all day without any walking breaks, people who spent five minutes on a treadmill every half-hour saw a 58 percent reduction in blood sugar spikes after large meals. Shorter, less frequent movement breaks didn’t appear to impact blood sugar, however.

Both types of walking break helped lower blood pressure by 4 to 5 points. This may be because of how much a seated posture restricts blood flow in the legs over time.

For optimal health, most adults need at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity as well as two days of muscle-building workouts, according to the CDC. But this can be hard to achieve if you’re at work all day.  So, instead, aim for short walking breaks as often as you can.


  1. Gloria

    Good input. I am struggling with high blood pressure and working to get healthy. Walking is helpful and now I will do it every hour in the house also. I’m finding that my diet was not helpful so I am also working on that as well.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *