Any Activity, Even Sleeping, Is Healthier Than Sitting

Sitting is Unhealthy Any Activity, Even Sleeping, is Better for Your Health

Move it or lose it! Any activity beats sitting, even sleeping!

News Picture: Any Activity, Even Sleeping, Is Healthier Than Sitting

Move over, sitting! There’s a new sheriff in town, and its name is activity. A recent study has confirmed what we’ve suspected all along: sitting is bad news for your heart. But don’t worry, putting a skip in your step can have a positive impact on your heart health. Dr. Jo Blodgett, the study’s first author, explains, “The most beneficial change we observed was replacing sitting with moderate to vigorous activity–which could be a run, a brisk walk, or even stair climbing. Basically, anything that raises your heart rate and makes you breathe faster, even for just a minute or two.”

But it turns out that sitting isn’t just bad for your heart, it’s also the ultimate heartbreaker. Even standing and sleeping trump sitting when it comes to the health of your ticker. So, next time you find yourself reaching for that cozy chair, think twice and choose a more heart-healthy activity instead!

Heart disease is no joke, folks. It’s the leading cause of death worldwide, responsible for one in three fatalities. Since 1997, the number of people living with heart disease has doubled. That’s why taking even small steps to improve your cardiovascular health is essential. James Leiper, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, emphasizes, “This study shows that replacing even a few minutes of sitting with a few minutes of moderate activity can improve your BMI, cholesterol, waist size, and have many more physical benefits.”

To carry out the study, researchers from University College London gathered data from six studies involving over 15,000 participants from five countries. Participants wore wearable devices on their thighs to measure their activity levels throughout the day. The researchers then assessed the participants’ heart health using six common indicators. They discovered that moderate-vigorous activity provided the most significant benefit to heart health, followed by light activity (like standing) and sleeping. Sitting, unfortunately, brought up the rear.

The fantastic news is that it only takes five minutes of moderate-vigorous activity to make a noticeable difference in heart health. So, even if you consider yourself a couch potato, fear not! Changing your sedentary habits to more active ones can have a big impact, especially if you’re not very active to begin with.

The study’s findings were published in the European Heart Journal on November 10, 2023. As James Leiper advises, “Getting active isn’t always a piece of cake, but incorporating ‘activity snacks’ into your day can make a world of difference. Try walking while taking phone calls or setting an alarm to do some star jumps every hour. Start building activity into your day and make it a habit to live a healthy, active lifestyle.”

For more information on sitting and heart health, you can visit Johns Hopkins.

SLIDESHOW: Pictures of the 7 Most Effective Exercises to Do at the Gym or Home (and Tips to Improve Form)

SLIDESHOW: Pictures of the 7 Most Effective Exercises to Do at the Gym or Home (and Tips to Improve Form)

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Keep your heart happy and strong, and remember, any activity is better than sitting on your behind. So get up, get moving, and show your heart some love!

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