Move for one hour a week to lose weight, reduce anxiety and fight depression, says ASICS

Living a sedentary lifestyle can catch up with you mentally and physically, but short bursts of movement can help

Woman smiles as she walks with a coffee in hand listening to music through headphones
(Image credit: Getty)

When we are stressed it can be hard to think clearly, and judge what will best serve our mental wellbeing in that moment. Unfortunately, over-working has become the answer for many. So sports brand ASICS took it upon themselves to find out exactly how much time we should be spending moving in order to keep us sane as we work from home.

Working out at home grew increasingly popular last year, with more and more people decking their homes out with gym equipment like the best adjustable dumbbells and learning how to lift weights. Combined with the move to home offices for non-essential workers, you would have think the combination of the two would result in a better work-life balance. However, the Japanese sport brand conducted a study that found over half of UK workers report feeling more stressed than ever and although exercise is the number one stress reliever, workers are moving 50 percent less at home compared to when they are in the office.

ASICS ran an eight week programme called 'Movement for Mind' consisting of two 30-minute exercise sessions a week where people complete a walk or a run, supported by audio guides. The programme is available here.

When the eight weeks was up, the research found that the programme had improved the individuals' wellbeing, lowered levels of anxiety, increased their daily step count and reduced their time spent sedentary. This was compared to that of a control group that didn't partake in the programme.

Person slumps over a laptop on their couch looking stressed

(Image credit: Getty)

Moreover, too much sitting around doesn't help our bodies burn fat and you may have experienced weight gain since working from home. This is another reason why increasing movement while working from home is so important. This 2018 study found that just standing for more than six hours a day instead of sitting can help you to lose weight.

The Executive Vice President of ASICS EMEA, Gary Raucher said, “Most people know that movement is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress. Yet the reality is that most desk-based workers hardly move at all."

He added, "To address the stress epidemic we are facing, we think it’s time to rethink movement in the workplace through an approach that’s accessible, enjoyable, and crucially, proven to work. We hope exercise and movement breaks become the norm, so people can achieve a sound mind in a sound body.”

Increasing movement while you work from home doesn't have to be extreme, but fitting in just two 30-minute bouts of exercise a week can have a significant impact on your physical and mental health. Getting yourself a pair of best shoes for walking could be a sound investment for lunchtime walks and will also encourage you to increase your fresh air intake during a working day.

Jessica Downey
Jessica Downey

Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. She is a keen runner and is currently sweating her way through a 10k training plan. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen - which she loves sharing with others on her healthy living-inspired Instagram account, @jessrunshere. Despite her love for nutritious cooking, she stands by the saying ‘everything in moderation’ and is eagerly conquering the London food and drink scene!