Research Design Connection: Designing in Walks and Boosting Performance

Work by Carter and colleagues indicates the value of designing opportunities for people to take periodic walking breaks into workplaces and other environments. For example, by providing headsets so that individuals can speak on the phone while walking and floor plans that streamline the process of walking and talking simultaneously. The Carter-lead team reports that, ‚ÄúDecreased cerebrovascular blood flow and function are associated with lower cognitive functioning and increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases‚ĶThis study explored the effect of uninterrupted sitting and breaking up sitting time on cerebrovascular blood flow and function of healthy desk workers‚ĶProlonged uninterrupted sitting [tested length of 4 hours] in healthy desk workers reduces cerebral blood flow. However, this reduction in cerebral blood flow is offset when frequent short-duration walking breaks [2-minutes of light-intensity walking every 30 minutes] are incorporated into this sitting period. For those who engage in long periods of sedentary behavior, chronically breaking up …