Yancey said she developed Instant Recess based on research that found that it's very difficult for people to commit to an exercise routine for any length of time. They find it daunting to commit as much as a half-hour to exercise, and the hassle of going to a gym or other place to work out adds one more obstacle to regular exercise.
And though 10 minutes may not seem like much, Kleinfelter and Yancey said that that amount of vigorous exercise can contribute greatly to your health.
"In terms of immediate benefit, most people experience improvement in mood and energy," Yancey said, noting that people feel relaxed and sharper after an Instant Recess session. But as little as 10 minutes of exercise a day also can help prevent weight gain and head off diabetes, and Yancey said her research has found that productivity increased and workplace injuries decreased at businesses where Instant Recess has been implemented.
Even people who are physically active can get something out of a little recess at work, Kleinfelter said.
"A lot of research is showing that people who exercise often sit for as much as 90 percent of their day," she said. "That can be just as negative because you're sitting for extended periods of time. This gives you a chance to get up and move."
The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more on the benefits of exercise.
SOURCES: Allison Kleinfelter, consultant, National Physical Activity Plan, Washington, D.C.; Antronette K. Yancey, M.D., M.P.H., professor, department of health services, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, and co-director, UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity, Los Angeles; Alejandro Espinoza, chronic disease program coordinator, Latino Health Acc
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