New health recommendation highlights heart disease risk of excess sitting

16 August 2016

The American Heart Association has issued a science advisory reminding people worldwide of the potential heart disease risks associated with spending too much time sitting.

In the statement, it was underlined that being sedentary is a potentially independent risk factor for heart disease and stroke, with the danger caused by the act of sitting itself, rather than simply being a consequence of a lack of exercise.

Sedentary behavior has been associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, impaired insulin sensitivity and an overall higher risk of death from any cause, though the exact reasons for this remain unknown.

As such, it was recommended that people try to undertake 30 minutes or so of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day, with daily activity considered preferable to more intense exercise that is limited to one or two days.

Nevertheless, even physically active people who spend a lot of their time being sedentary appear to be at increased risk.

Dr Deborah Rohm Young, director of behavioural research at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, said: "We don't have information about how much sedentary behaviour is bad for health - the best advice at this time is to sit less and move more."

Posted by Edward Bartel

 


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