This study found frequent five minute low-intensity breaks of physical activity improved mood, cognition, and food cravings more than sitting uninterrupted for six hours.
In this graphic, researchers illustrated dashed lines to represent optimal blood sugar ranges. The study concluded breaking up prolonged sitting with intermittent low-intensity exercise is more likely to keep blood sugar in the optimal range.
Interrupting sitting lowers blood glucose to healthier levels.
EFFECT OF FREQUENT INTERRUPTIONS OF PROLONGED SITTING ON SELF-PERCEIVED LEVELS OF ENERGY, MOOD, FOOD CRAVINGS AND COGNITIVE FUNCTION
While physical activity has been shown to improve cognitive performance and well-being, office workers are essentially sedentary. We compared the effects of physical activity performed as (i) one bout in the morning or (ii) as microbouts spread out across the day to (iii) a day spent sitting, on mood and energy levels and cognitive function.
In a randomized crossover trial, 30 sedentary adults completed each of three conditions: 6 h of uninterrupted sitting (SIT), SIT plus 30 min of moderate-intensity treadmill walking in the morning (ONE), and SIT plus six hourly 5-min microbouts of moderate-intensity treadmill walking (MICRO). Self-perceived energy, mood, and appetite were assessed with visual analog scales. Vigor and fatigue were assessed with the Profile of Mood State questionnaire. Cognitive function was measured using a flanker task and the Comprehensive Trail Making Test. Intervention effects were tested using linear mixed models.
Both ONE and MICRO increased self-perceived energy and vigor compared to SIT (p < 0.05 for all). MICRO, but not ONE, improved mood, decreased levels of fatigue and reduced food cravings at the end of the day compared to SIT (p < 0.05 for all). Cognitive function was not significantly affected by condition.
In addition to the beneficial impact of physical activity on levels of energy and vigor, spreading out physical activity throughout the day improved mood, decreased feelings of fatigue and affected appetite. Introducing short bouts of activity during the workday of sedentary office workers is a promising approach to improve overall well-being at work without negatively impacting cognitive performance.
THE EFFECTIVENESS OF NECK AND SHOULDER STRETCHING EXERCISE PROGRAM AMONG OFFICE WORKERS WITH NECK PAIN: A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
To determine the effectiveness of neck and shoulder stretching exercises for relief neck pain among office workers.
A total of 96 subjects with moderate-to-severe neck pain for 3 months in an outpatient setting.
All participants received an informative brochure indicating the proper position and ergonomics to be applied during daily work. The treatment group received the additional instruction to perform neck and around shoulder stretching exercises two times/day, five days/week for four weeks.
Both groups had comparable baseline data. All outcomes were improved significantly from baseline. When compared between groups, the magnitude of improvement was significantly greater in the treatment group than in the control group (-1.4; 95% CI: -2.2, -0.7 for visual analogue scale; -4.8; 95% CI: -9.3, -0.4 for Northwick Park Neck Pain Questionnaire; and 14.0; 95% CI: 7.1, 20.9 for physical dimension of the Short Form-36). Compared with the patients who performed exercises <3 times/week, those who exercised ⩾3 times/week yielded significantly greater improvement in neck function and physical dimension of quality of life scores (p = 0.005 and p = 0.018, respectively).
A regular stretching exercise program performed for four weeks can decrease neck and shoulder pain and improve neck function and quality of life for office workers who have chronic moderate-to-severe neck or shoulder pain.