Numerous studies have shown that sitting eight hours or more a day is bad for you, and can lead to heart disease, joint pain, and poor circulation. But fret not; researchers now say you don't necessarily have to stand up for eight hours in order to avoid these problems.
Researchers from Indiana University studied healthy men between the ages of 20 to 35; while none were regular exercisers, they also didn't have health problems like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or obesity. While normal blood flow can become impaired by as much as 50 percent after just one hour of sitting, there was no decline when the men walked five minutes on a treadmill each hour.
"American adults sit for approximately eight hours a day," Saurabh Thosar, the lead author of the study, said in a statement. "The impairment in endothelial function is significant after just one hour of sitting. It is interesting to see that light physical activity can help in preventing this impairment."
If you think you don't have time to take quick breaks and would rather hit the gym after work, it might not do much good; one study found that an hour of exercise wasn't enough to counteract six hours of sitting. So, either keep your tennis shoes next to your desk and get moving once an hour, or beg your boss to finally spring for that treadmill desk. Your heart will thank you.