Noteworthy new research: Just two hours of sitting cancels out 20 minutes of exercise!

Driving too?! I love driving! No TV?! We watch very little TV, only about two hours a week –  couple of shows that my husband and I enjoy. I used to watch TV while sitting on my stability/fitness ball, until we got a nice new living room furniture – well, now, my ball is making a comeback 🙂

I highlighter the bullet points in the text below. Love the idea of getting a fitness ball instead of a chair.

FitnessBall

a fifth grade school teacher, has her students complete their assignments while sitting on a stability ball and not a stationary chair.

Sitting too much, not just lack of exercise, is detrimental to cardiovascular health

Date:
July 7, 2014
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Cardiologists at UT Southwestern Medical Center found that sedentary behaviors may lower cardiorespiratory fitness levels. New evidence suggests that two hours of sedentary behavior can be just as harmful as 20 minutes of exercise is beneficial.

The study, published in today’s online edition of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, examined the association between fitness levels, daily exercise, and sedentary behavior, based on data from 2,223 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Sedentary behavior involves low levels of energy expenditure activities such as sitting, driving, watching television, and reading, among others. The findings suggest that sedentary behavior may be an important determinant of cardiorespiratory fitness, independent of exercise.

“Previous studies have reported that sedentary behavior was associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular outcomes; however, the mechanisms through which this occurs are not completely understood,” said Dr. Jarett Berry, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Clinical Science and senior author of the study. “Our data suggest that sedentary behavior may increase risk through an impact on lower fitness levels, and that avoiding sedentary behavior throughout the day may represent an important companion strategy to improve fitness and health, outside of regular exercise activity.”

The team of physician-researchers analyzed accelerometer data from men and women between the ages of 12 and 49 with no known history of heart disease, asthma, or stroke, and measured their average daily physical activity and sedentary behavior times. Fitness was estimated using a submaximal treadmill test, and variables were adjusted for gender, age, and body mass index. The findings demonstrate that the negative effect of six hours of sedentary time on fitness levels was similar in magnitude to the benefit of one hour of exercise.

“We also found that when sitting for prolonged periods of time, any movement is good movement, and was also associated with better fitness,” said Dr. Jacquelyn Kulinski, a recent graduate from the UT Southwestern Cardiology Fellowship Training Program and first author of the paper. “So if you are stuck at your desk for a while, shift positions frequently, get up and stretch in the middle of a thought, pace while on a phone call, or even fidget.”

To stay active and combat sedentary behavior, UT Southwestern preventive cardiologists recommend taking short walks during lunch and throughout the day, using a pedometer to track daily steps, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, hosting walking meetings at work, and replacing a standard desk chair with a fitness ball or even a treadmill desk, if possible.

NHANES is an ongoing series of studies conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The database contains health and nutritional data from a diverse population, representative of the U.S. population.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study include Dr. Amit Khera, Director of the Preventive Cardiology Program and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine; Dr. Sandeep Das, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine; Dr. James de Lemos, Associate Program Director of the Cardiology Fellowship Program and Professor of Internal Medicine; and Colby Ayers, Faculty Associate in the Department of Clinical Science. This study was funded with support from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the American Heart Association, and an unrestricted endowment provided to Dr. Berry by the Dedman Family.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Jacquelyn P. Kulinski, Amit Khera, Colby R. Ayers, Sandeep R. Das, James A. de Lemos, Steven N. Blair, Jarett D. Berry.Association Between Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Accelerometer-Derived Physical Activity and Sedentary Time in the General Population. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2014.04.019

 

Source for the mage.

To your health,

Elena

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Showing 4 comments
  • Mary Strong-Spaid
    Reply

    I used to sit at the computer at work for 9 hours a day, and then sit in traffic for 2.5 to 3 hours driving in and 2.5 to 3 hours coming home. In other words, I was sitting more than humanly possible. When my legs and feet started to go numb, I finally realized how stupid the whole situation was and I stopped. With computers, it would be easy to do computer work from home and knock out all the additional time driving. For some reason though, most companies still want to see your face every day.

    • Elena
      Reply

      Hi Mary, this is wonderful that you were able to see the problem with the situation you were in and that you took steps to change it! And I know that companies are becoming more understanding and more open minded to alternative ways of doing business, and taking care of their employees’ wellbeing and health.
      Thank you for stopping by! Elena

  • Mary Strong-Spaid
    Reply

    I used to sit at the computer at work for 9 hours a day, and then sit in traffic for 2.5 to 3 hours driving in and 2.5 to 3 hours coming home. In other words, I was sitting more than humanly possible. When my legs and feet started to go numb, I finally realized how stupid the whole situation was and I stopped. With computers, it would be easy to do computer work from home and knock out all the additional time driving. For some reason though, most companies still want to see your face every day.

    • Elena
      Reply

      Hi Mary, this is wonderful that you were able to see the problem with the situation you were in and that you took steps to change it! And I know that companies are becoming more understanding and more open minded to alternative ways of doing business, and taking care of their employees’ wellbeing and health.
      Thank you for stopping by! Elena

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