By way of the International Federation of Pedestrians, “Walking for just an hour a day can undo the damage done by sitting at a desk for eight hours”:
We all know that humans were not built to sit at a desk for the majority of the day, but that’s the reality of life for many of us. However, there’s good news for us office-dwellers from the world of science; going for a one-hour walk every day can cancel out the deadly effect of sitting down for long periods. Scientists who analysed data on a million men and women found that sitting for more than eight hours a day without taking exercise significantly increased the risk of dying early. [...]
Heart and artery disease and cancer were the two most likely causes of death linked to an inactive lifestyle. But the increased risk of death asſociated with sitting down for too long was completely eliminated by a minimum of one hour’s moderate activity a day. A brisk walk or cycle ride fell into this category.
The study authors also urged office employers to be understanding about staff taking short breaks away from their desks. Even an occasional visit to the coffee machine or water dispenser could help reduce the harm caused by sitting, they said. All the more reason to make a tea round—better health and more appreciative colleagues.
Lead scientist Profesſor Ulf Ekelund, from Cambridge University and the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, said: “We found that at least one hour of physical activity per day, for example brisk walking or bike cycling, eliminates the association between sitting time and death.