SITTING FOR LONG periods has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and early death, but a new study suggest that not all types of sitting are equally unhealthy, an American medical institution said last week.
In a posting on its website, Culombia University Irving Medical Center said the study found that leisure-time sitting(while watching TV) – but not sitting at work – was associated with greater risk of heart diseases and death among the more than 3,500 participants of the research.
The study also found that moderate-to-vigorous exercise may reduce or eliminate the harmful effects of sedentary television watching.
” Our findings show that how you spend your time outside of work may matter more when it comes to heart health,” said study author Keith Diaz. ” Even if you have a job that requires you to sit for long periods of time, replacing the time you spend for sitting at home with strenous exercise could reduce your risk of heart diseases and death.”
Most previous studies included mostly people of European descent rather than African Americans, a group that has a higher risk of heart diseases compared to the whites.
The neq research followed 3,592 people – all African Americans – living in one city, for almost 8-and-a-half years.
The participants who had logged the most TV-viewing hours (four or more hours a day) had a 50% great risk of cardiovascular events and death compared to those who watched the least amount of TV (less than two hours a day). In contrast, those who had sat the least.
Even for the most dedicated TV watchers, moderate to vigorous physical activity, such as walking briskly or doing aerobic exercise, resuced the risk of heart attack, stroke or death.
The findings are in the Journal of the American Heart Association.