A team of researchers recently published a study in the journal Circulation that explored the correlation between sedentary behavior and cardiovascular disease in older women. Independent reports have previously linked prolonged sitting with increased blood pressure, excess body fat, cancer, and higher mortality rates but conclusive heart health data had been somewhat limited.
The information revealed by the new Circulation study was derived from 5,638 women, aged 63-97 years old. They wore accelerometers to measure how much time they spent being active against how much time they spent sitting. The subjects were monitored over the course of five years.
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The study concluded that the amount and length of bouts spent sedentary have a significant impact on the risks of cardiovascular disease. Every hour spent sitting worked out to about a 12% risk increase.
The author of the study, John Belletttiere states: “Higher amounts of sedentary time and longer sedentary bouts were directly associated with cardiovascular disease,” he continued: “More importantly, the association showed up regardless of a woman’s overall health, physical function, and other cardiovascular risk factors, including whether they also were engaging in moderate to vigorous physical activity.”
Recent studies on the subject chorus the negative impact of inactivity, making it clear we should all make an effort to decrease the amount of time we spend sitting idly. This might pose more difficult for those of us with 9 to 5 day jobs.
Dr. Edward Laskowski, certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, suggests we make an effort to take brisk walks around the office every 30 minutes.
Try standing while on the phone as opposed to sitting at your desk. Walk with your colleagues for meetings instead of holding them in conference rooms. In addition to constant movement yielding positive reductions to correlative risks, it will have an immediate effect on your physical health.
Laskowski says, “The impact of movement — even leisurely movement — can be profound. For starters, you’ll burn more calories. This might lead to weight loss and increased energy. Also, physical activity helps maintain muscle tone, your ability to move and your mental well-being, especially as you age.”
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