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Spending too long sitting damages your heart health, despite exercise

by Gabriel Rosoga on 6 March 2015
Health, Lifestyle     |      coronary disease,  enough exercise,  sedentary life,  sitting

Sitting for many hours per day is associated with increased coronary artery calcification that can increase the risk of a heart attack, says a new study.

Exercise does not majorly counteract the health effects of a sedentary lifestyle on coronary calciumĀ build up.

An examination of heart scans and physical activity records of more than 2,000 adults in Dallas allowed researchers to find that each hour of sedentary time per day is associated with a 14 percent, on average, in coronary artery calcification condition.

“It’s clear that exercise is important to reduce your cardiovascular risk and improve your fitness level,” said Jacquelyn Kulinski, MD, assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the study’s lead author.

“But this study suggests that reducing how much you sit every day may represent a more novel, companion strategy (in addition to exercise) to help reduce your cardiovascular risk.”

A significant improvement on future cardiovascular health is achieved by reducing the time spent sitting by even an hour or two a day.

While those who do not exercise at all are at higher risk, the study concluded that it was not good enough to exercise for 30 minutes a day and be sedentary for 23 and half hours.

The present study links sitting and sedentary behavior with an early marker for heart disease risk.

Coronary artery calcification indicates the amount of calcium found in plaques within the heart’s arteries. Coronary artery disease takes place when such plaques accumulate over time, causing the arteries to narrow.

The findings will be presented at American College of Cardiology’s 64th Annual Scientific Session in San Diego.

Spending too long sitting damages your heart health, despite exercise

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