This is the magic number of minutes we should be exercising for each day

It's not as long as you might imagine

woman running along roadside
(Image credit: RichVintage/Getty Images)

We all know sitting for hours and hours at a desk each day is not great for our fitness levels, let alone our mental health, but finding the time to squeeze a workout into our meeting-packed days can sometimes prove tricky.

Luckily, according to a new study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine you may not need to dedicate so much time to a workout after all - so put on your best workout clothes (opens in new tab), snap your laptop shut and hit the streets for a mood-improving dose of endorphins.

How long should I be exercising for?

woman diving into lake

(Image credit: Jordan Siemens/Getty Images)

The study, which followed 44,370 men and women found, amazingly, we may only need 11 minutes of exercise per day to live longer and feel fitter. 

Findings show that people who sit for around eight to 10 hours a day but managed to fit in just 11 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise were less likely to die than those who only got about two minutes of exercise per day. Proof that just a little bit of exercise is better than none at all is news to our ears because everyone’s got time for a quick run or hike, right?

Other activities that count as your 11 minutes a day include jogging, taking a strenuous fitness class, swimming or even carrying heavy groceries upstairs.  

Exercising regularly can help improve life expectancy as it lowers the risk of developing age-related diseases and type two diabetes, whereas low energy activities like lying or sitting for long periods of time are linked with disease and early death. Those who exercise regularly will also see improvements in heart and lung health which can result in feelings of increased energy plus we all know the mood-boosting properties of exercise are endless.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get active - for 11 minutes at least!

Lydia Swinscoe
Lifestyle News Editor

Lydia is a freelance travel writer, and Lifestyle News Editor at My Imperfect Life

Her travel writing has been published in BBC Good Food, Oh magazine, Harper's Bazaar UK, Town&Country, ELLE UK, MailOnline, Woman, and woman&home

She began her career compiling fashion and beauty pages for teen magazines at the BBC where she interviewed and styled some of the world's biggest pop acts—from Taylor Swift and Demi Lovato to One Direction—before joining celebrity magazine Now, as Fashion and Beauty Director, and later Woman magazine as Lifestyle Director.

Travel has been a constant passion over the course of Lydia’s 14-year career. At 19, she took her first solo trip to Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico and has gone on to explore parts of 53 countries, returning to many often. 

At 23, she quit her job and traveled out of a backpack for a year, living on just $26 (£20) a day. Of the 15 countries she visited, 13 were explored by land in a bid to cut her carbon footprint. Some highlights from the trip include a teaching by the Dalai Lama in the foothills of the Himalayas, sleeping on the world's largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, and being completely overwhelmed by the magnificent Iguazu Falls on the Argentina-Brazil border.

In 2015 Lydia traveled solo through India and Nepal for three months, visiting some of the most spiritual places in the world, and completing Nepal’s Annapurna Base Camp trek over the course of nine days. 

In 2021 she spent three months traveling solo through Portugal and Spain where she was on a mission to hunt out the best restaurants, find one-off boutique hotels and visit incredible art exhibitions. 

Day-to-day she manages a global team of nine news writers and oversees news content on My Imperfect Life

Follow Lydia on Instagram @lydiaswinscoe