Step to It

Watching TV? If you stand up and step in place during the commercials, you may burn as many calories as you would if you took a walk.

Researchers had 23 men and women watch TV for one hour without moving and for a second hour while stepping in place during the commercials. They stepped at a moderate pace (100 to 120 steps per minute), lifting each leg six to eight inches off the ground.

During the hour that they stepped during the ads, the participants were active for 21 minutes and took roughly 2,100 steps. They also burned about 150 calories, nearly double the 80 calories they burned during the hour they sat still. The average person burns 150 calories walking for a half hour at a brisk pace (3 mph).
What to do: Get up off the couch (or out of your desk chair) and move, even if it’s only for a few minutes at a time. A typical half-hour TV show has eight to 12 minutes of commercials, and American adults spend three to five hours a day watching TV. If they stood up and stepped in place during the commercials, they could burn an extra 200 to 350 calories a day.

(2012, April). Step to It. Nutrition Action Healthletter, 8.

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