Doing that for five minutes lowers your stress levels as efficiently as a 20-minute rest, thanks to the way it triggers the release of hormones that calm your body’s stress-response system.
It’s a great way to get hands-on with nature, which can improve mental health. And a five-minute dose is the most effective for self-esteem, say UK researchers. Don’t have a garden? Heading for the nearest green space will do the trick.
Do it for five minutes out of every half an hour you spend sitting down. This will reduce your insulin levels by 20 per cent and your blood sugar levels by 34 per cent, which lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes.
And you don’t even have to run fast. Jogging for five minutes a day at 9km per hour is enough to significantly reduce your risk of dying from a wide range of causes, say US researchers.