While rest is essential for the body to recoup energy and regenerate cells and tissue, too much sitting can actually harm your health according to a recent study conducted by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute—And that’s not all. According to the findings, no amount of exercise can reverse the negative effects of prolonged sedentary activity.
The study which monitored 278 patients with heart disease for sedentary, light, moderate, and vigorous activity, found that these individuals had higher BMI readings, and lower cardiorespiratory fitness overall. Although all participants had attended a cardiac rehabilitation program that encourages regular exercise, patients were still sedentary nearly 8 hours out of each day.
“This was surprising given that they had taken classes on how to exercise more,” said Dr. Stephanie Prince, lead author of the study. And, BMI numbers of sedentary participants who did exercise were still high, she adds. “These relationships remained even when we controlled for an individual’s age, gender or physical activity levels…In other words, people who sat for longer periods were heavier and less fit regardless of how much they exercised.”
The study that required patients to wear an activity monitor for nine days also found that men spent about one hour more a day on average sitting or being sedentary, than their female counterparts. This was because women tended to do more “light intensity movement” including, running errands and light housekeeping. ” Women with coronary artery disease spend less time sitting for long periods but we need to do more research to understand why. There is some research from the past which suggests that at around the age of 60 men become more sedentary than women and may watch more TV”, said Prince.
The bottom line seems to suggest that no amount of physical activity can negate the harmful effects of sitting, and a sedentary lifestyle.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States for both men and women.
1 in 4 deaths are attributed to heart disease each year, or approximately 610,000 people.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) kills more than 370,000 people every year and is the most common form of heart disease.
Nearly 735,000 people in the U.S. have a heart attack each year. While 525,000 are first heart attacks, 210,000 are subsequent events to previous heart attacks.
Cardiovascular disease, also known as, “heart disease” involves the heart and blood vessels of the body. The health of the heart depends on proper blood flow through the various arteries. When the build up of plaque restricts this flow, a heart attack or stroke can occur.
There are many different types of heart disease including:
Heart attack—Blood flow to part of the heart is restricted causing the heart muscle to begin to die.
Ischemic stroke—Blood flow to the brain is blocked.
Hemorrhagic stroke—A blood vessel within the brain bursts.
Heart failure—The heart fails to pump blood efficiently.
Arrhythmia—The heart beats irregularly which effects blood flow.
Heart valve problems—Blood flow through the heart is affected when valves do not open and close properly.
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