If you've got a minute to spare, use it to take a brisk walk, use the stairs, or do anything you can to raise your heart rate a bit - and you'll burn an extra calorie or two.

According to researchers at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, a dozen or so bursts of exercise accumulated during the course of the day provides the same kind of health benefits as most recommended 10-minute bouts of moderate exercise.

"This research shows that when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, every little bit of exercise counts, as long as it's of reasonable intensity, such as a brisk walk, climbing stairs or jumping rope," said Jessie Fan, lead author of the report and associate dean of the College of Social Behavioral Science, Family And Consumer Studies at the University of Utah.

But the researchers are just exploring the minimum. Of course, when you exceed these recommendations - for example getting an hour of exercise a day - would lead to greater health and fitness benefits.

"Knowing that even short bouts of brisk activity can add up to a positive effect is an encouraging message for promoting better health," Fan said.

If you aren't already getting your necessary dose of exercise, you could use this tip as a starter. You can begin with one-minute bursts, and progress to longer workouts.