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      Short Bursts of Activity for Sedentary Workers Can Improve Mood, Decrease Fatigue and Food Cravings

      Short Bursts of Activity for Sedentary Workers Can Improve Mood, Decrease Fatigue and Food Cravings

      A Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions study shows that introducing short bouts of activity during the workday for sedentary workers is a promising approach to improve overall wellbeing in the workplace

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      NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Nov. 15, 2016 – A new research study supported by Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions shows that short bouts of physical activity, or microbursts, performed throughout the day can be more beneficial for improving mood, decreasing levels of fatigue and reducing food cravings at the end of the day, compared to one prolonged 30-minute bout of activity. Office workers can spend 65-75 percent of their work time sitting, and this lack of physical activity may negatively impact health and wellbeing. Understanding the effects of prolonged sitting on self-perceived levels of energy, mood, food cravings and cognitive function may motivate office workers to find simple ways to move more throughout the workday.

      The study, “Effect of Frequent Interruptions of Prolonged Sitting on Self-Perceived Levels of Energy, Mood, Food Cravings and Cognitive Function,” was published in the November 2016 edition of International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. It was conducted in partnership with the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado, and Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to energy management and wellbeing. The study compared the effects between no physical activity, hourly five-minute microbursts and a 30-minute bout of physical activity performed once a day.

      “While the effects of daily 30 minutes of exercise are well-documented to increase energy and improve overall health and wellbeing, this study provides evidence that brief microbursts of activity throughout the day also improve mood and reduce fatigue and food cravings, which together may help improve adherence to healthy behaviors including those related to weight management,” said Jennifer Turgiss, DrPH, vice president, behavioral science and analytics, Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions.

      Today people are increasingly looking for ways to take control of their own health. Given that 60-70 percent of workers may hold jobs in an office environment, understanding how to counteract the effects of extended sitting are of wide appeal. Competing priorities also mean that most adults have limited free time to dedicate to long bouts of physical activity, creating a demand for current trends like standing work stations which integrate healthy behaviors into the work day. Data from this study support simple interventions that can be easily implemented in a real-world office setting.

      “The sedentary worker is particularly vulnerable to the effects of sitting for long periods, and at Johnson & Johnson, we are committed to continued research for the optimal approach to maintaining health and wellbeing in the workplace,” said Raphaela O’Day, PhD, behavioral scientist at Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions.

      About the Study
      The study was a randomized, cross-over trial with 30 healthy, sedentary adults, ages 25-50, who did not meet the recommended levels of 30 minutes of activity a day. Participants were studied in a controlled environment where each subject completed three 1-day trial conditions that were given in random order. The conditions were: six hours of uninterrupted sitting, six hours of uninterrupted sitting plus one 30-minute bout of moderate-intensity walking in the morning, and six hours of sitting interrupted by five minute bouts of moderate-intensity walking every hour. The two physically active conditions were designed to expend an equal amount of energy in a 30 minute period. Participants were given cognitive performance tests along with energy, fatigue, mood and appetite questionnaires.

      To access the full study, click here.

      About Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions
      Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions, Inc. serves as the center of excellence for Johnson & Johnson’s capabilities in behavior modification, patient/consumer experience, health care analytics and coaching platforms. It offers an integrated portfolio of solutions to cover a broad spectrum of health management – from wellness and prevention, to behavioral health, to chronic disease support. These solutions are designed to improve outcomes, control costs and enhance the patient and consumer experience. Its guiding purpose is to invest energy toward vibrant and longer lives. For more information about Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions, visit


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