Sitting at desk increases heart disease risk by 34%

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 6 months ago

A recent study conducted by Taiwanese researchers has found that sitting behind a desk all day can significantly increase the risk of dying from heart disease. The study, which analyzed data from 481,688 individuals over a period of 13 years, revealed that the risk of dying from heart disease increased by a third for those who spent most of their time sitting. Additionally, the overall risk of early death from any cause increased by 16 percent.

However, the study also discovered that these risks could be mitigated by incorporating 15 to 30 minutes of intense exercise into one's daily routine. Dr. Min-Kuang Tsai, from Taipei Medical University, suggested that employers could play a role in promoting physical activity by providing designated areas for leisure time exercise. The study also found that alternating between sitting and non-sitting at work, as well as taking regular breaks, could be beneficial in reducing the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

The World Health Organization has identified sedentary lifestyles as a leading cause of premature death. Insufficient exercise has been linked to higher rates of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and dementia. The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK recommends engaging in some form of physical activity every day and strength training at least twice a week. The guidelines suggest aiming for two-and-a-half hours of moderate intensity activity, such as brisk walking, per week.

The study, published in JAMA Network Open, specifically examined the impact of sitting at work and exercising during leisure time on health outcomes. Individuals who spent most of their time sitting had a higher risk of early death compared to those who were more physically active. However, the study found that incorporating an additional 30 minutes of exercise per day could reduce the risks to the same level as those who did not spend most of their time sitting.

Dr. Wayne Gao, a co-author of the study, emphasized the importance of reducing prolonged sitting in the workplace to mitigate the increased risks of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality. These findings highlight the need for individuals to be mindful of their sedentary behavior and incorporate regular exercise into their daily routines to maintain good health.


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