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Reducing daily sitting by 2 hours may improve heart health, study finds

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DH Calgary Staff Jul 31, 2015 6:38 pm

Most of us understand that sitting all day everyday probably is not the healthiest thing we can do for our bodies but what do we need to do to get out of our bad habits?

Global News reports, that according to Australian doctors they have found the answer to the question, how much should I move and stand a day? Apparently, a replacement of 2 hours of standing or moving a day instead of sitting can reduce your waistline, body mass index(BMI) and is better for your heart.

The new study was published in the European Heart Journal and is already gathering up attention as it is one of the first study’s that has looked specifically at the associations between replacing time from one activity to another activity and how it effects cardiovascular risk factors.

Roughly 800 men and women, aged between 36 and 80 years old participated in the study. Monitors tracked their daily activities such as the amount of time spent stepping, lying down or sitting, standing and sleeping.

The group handed in data on their blood pressure, weight, height and waist circumference and gave blood samples.

The results for the group that replaced 2 hours a day by standing rather than sitting found that it did help with several factors. They were found to have lower average fasting blood sugar levels, 11 percent lower average triglycerides, their HDL cholesterol (good fats) were increased in relation to LDL cholesterol (bad fats).

Researchers found that people who replaced sitting with 2 hours moving had an 11 percent lower BMI and a 7.5-centimetre-smaller waistline.

Dr. Genevieve Healy, a senior research fellow at the university’s School of Public Health says, “This has important public health implications, given that standing is a common behaviour that usually replaces sitting, and that can be encouraged in the workplace with interventions such as sit-stand desks,” according to Global news.

The conclusions of the study do seem to suggest that strategies that target increased standing, stepping or both, may benefit cardio-metabolic health.

“While the study cannot show that less time spent sitting causes the improvements in these markers of health, the associations it reveals are consistent with what is known already about the benefits of a non-sedentary lifestyle. More work is needed to understand cause and effect,” Healy said.


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DH Calgary Staff
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