Sit Less, Walk More for Heart Health

Sit Less, Walk More for Heart Health

Sit less, walk more, say researchers that found walking for 5 minutes every hour could help counteract the bad effects sitting for long periods of time can have on your health.

It may be possible to reverse the effects of sitting for too long, such as reduced blood flow in the arteries of the legs, by taking breaks from sitting down through five minutes of walking, according to the study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Researchers at Indiana University are the first to show evidence that a measure of movement can encourage blood flow despite unhealthy sitting practices. Problems that arise due to sitting for extended periods of time can have detrimental consequences on cardiovascular health including the development of heart disease and poor circulation.

The study looked at participants including healthy males between the ages of 20 and 35 who did not have cardiovascular problems such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes. Men who walked for five minutes on a treadmill for each hour of sitting did not see a reduction in blood flow.

Previous research has found that sitting down, even for just an hour, could inhibit normal blood flow by as much as 50 percent and it has been estimated that American adults sit for approximately eight hours a day.

‘About 8.9 million Americans have chest pain (angina) caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscle which occurs when the coronary arteries become blocked with a build-up of plaque,’ according to the Heart Foundation. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the US with approximately 1 million deaths due to the condition each year.

 

Sources: National Library of Medicine;The Heart Foundation

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