Sitting down too often ‘harmful to cardiovascular health’

8 July 2014

Sedentary behaviours, such as sitting down too often, can lower cardiorespiratory fitness levels, according to research from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre.

Such behaviours involve expending low levels of energy, such as sitting, driving, watching television and reading.

The new study investigated the link between fitness levels, daily exercise and inactivity in 2,223 participants.

All participants were aged between 12 and 49 and had no known history of heart disease, asthma, or stroke. The findings suggest sedentary behaviours are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular health problems.

Dr Jarett Berry, senior author of the research, said the results indicate avoiding inactivity during the day could improve fitness levels, regardless of regular exercise.

"We also found that when sitting for prolonged periods of time, any movement is good movement, and was also associated with better fitness,"said Dr Jacquelyn Kulinski, first author of the study.

She added that people confined to desks for their jobs should change position frequently, get up and stretch, pace and even fidget.

According to the research team, to combat sedentary behaviour, people should take short walks in lunch breaks, take the stairs instead of the lift and replace desk chairs with fitness balls if possible.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...



© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)