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Health

Standing and even sleeping is better for the heart than sitting, new study suggests


Adults are sedentary for an average of 9 and a half hours a day, studies show — and all that sitting might be putting a strain on people. heart health in danger.

Researchers from University College London (UCL) and the University of Sydney have found that replacing a few moments of sitting with any other type of activity – even sleeping or standing – can improve cardiovascular health.

In six separate studies involving more than 15,000 people from five countries, participants wore trackers to measure their activity levels and heart health during a typical 24-hour day.

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Researchers found that more vigorous activities correlated with greater heart health benefits.

Even standing and sleeping had better cardiovascular effects than sitting.

Researchers from University College London and the University of Sydney have found that replacing a few moments of sitting with any other type of activity – even sleeping or standing – can improve cardiovascular health. (iStock)

When participants ditched sitting for just five minutes of moderate to vigorous activity, there was a tangible positive impact on their heart health.

In one example cited in the study, a 54-year-old woman who replaced 30 minutes of sitting with 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise saw a 2.4% decrease in her body mass index (BMI). , a reduction of 2.7% in its waist size. and a decrease of 3.6% blood sugar level.

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“We hope this data will reach a broad population and impact behavior,” said Matthew Saybolt, MD, medical director of the Structural Heart Disease Program at Hackensack Meridian. Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

Saybolt was not involved in the study but shared his thoughts on the findings with Fox News Digital.

“As cardiologists, we know that regular physical activity compared to a sedentary lifestyle has positive effects on arterial pressureglucose/sugar levels, body fat, cholesterol, sleep patterns and mood,” Saybolt said.

Adults spend an average of 9 and a half hours sedentary each day, studies show. Yet when participants in one study replaced their sitting with just five minutes of moderate to vigorous activity, a tangible positive impact was seen on their heart health. (iStock)

“All of these things are closely linked to the cardiovascular system. We encourage at least light to moderate exercise and physical activity daily for all of our stable patients.”

Dr Jo Blodgett, first author of the study from UCL Surgery & Interventional Science and the Institute of Sport, Exercise & Health, shared the study’s “big takeaways” in a press release from the UCL.

The activity doesn’t have to be vigorous to have a positive impact, the researchers noted.

“While small changes in how you move can have a positive effect on heart health, the intensity of movement matters,” Blodgett said.

“The most beneficial change we observed was replacing sitting with moderate to vigorous activity – which could be running, brisk walking or climbing stairs – basically any activity that increases your heart rate and makes you breathe faster, even for a minute or two.”

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The activity doesn’t have to be vigorous to have a positive impact, the researchers noted, but lower-level activities will take longer to elicit a benefit.

People who are typically the most sedentary in their daily lives will likely benefit the most from exchanging these behaviors for more active ones, the release said.

Even small adjustments can have a noticeable impact on heart health, the study found. “The most beneficial change we observed was replacing sitting with moderate to vigorous activity – which could be running, brisk walking or climbing stairs – basically any activity that increases your heart rate and makes you breathe faster, even for a minute or two.” (iStock)

The study had some limitations, the researchers acknowledged.

The results show an association, but cannot prove that activity levels cause cardiovascular outcomes.

Longer-term research is needed to confirm the relationship between higher activity levels and heart health, they said.

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“While it is not surprising that becoming more active is beneficial for heart health, the novelty of this study relates to a range of behaviors across the 24-hour day,” said Professor Mark Hamer, co- lead author of the study from UCL Surgery & Interventional Science and the Institute of Sport, Exercise & Health, in the press release.

Researchers have emphasized the importance of making changes that are pleasant and lasting. (iStock)

“This approach will ultimately allow us to provide personalized recommendations to make people more active in a way that suits them,” Hamer also said.

The researchers offered some suggestions for small adjustments to improve cardiovascular health.

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“Becoming active isn’t always easy, and it’s important to make changes that you can stick with for the long term and that you enjoy—anything that gets your heart rate up can help,” noted James Leiper, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, in the press release.

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“Incorporating “activity snacks,” like walking while answering phone calls or setting an alarm to get up and do star jumps every hour, is a great way to start incorporating activity into your day and get used to living. A healthy and active lifestyle“.

For more health articles, visit www.foxnews.com/health.

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