Cardiovascular Disease continues to be a world-wide cause of death. Encouraging, however, is the fact that most can be turned around simply with lifestyle changes.
In today's society over 25% of American adults sit more than 8 hours every day. In addition, 44% of this group get little or no exercise. The average American watches approximately 3 hours of television and is active less than 20 minutes every day. It has been found, however, that 60 to 70 minutes of moderate activity, such as steady walking, can combat the effects of too much sitting.
Why Sitting Is The "New Smoking"
- Blood flow slows down allowing fatty acids to build up in the blood vessels, leading to heart disease.
- Sitting for extended periods of time, regularly may lead to insulin resistance which can cause type 2 diabetes and obesity—2 major risk factors for heart disease.
- Increased risk of blood clots
- Ability to process fats is reduced because the production of the enzyme essential for breaking down fat is reduced by 90%. Instead of being broken down the fat gets stored instead.
A 2011 study of 800,000 people evaluating their sitting habits found that people who sat the most had:
- 112% increased risk of diabetes.
- 147% increased risk of cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke.
- 90% increased risk of death from cardiovascular events.
- 49% increased risk of death from any cause.
The Benefits of "Moving"
- Lowers blood pressure
- Is a "key" to weight control
- Strengthens muscles
- Helps to stop smoking
- Can help stop or slow development of diabetes
- Lowers Stress
- Reduces inflammation
How To Incorporate Movement In Your Daily Routine
- Park your car farther from the building entrance so you can "walk" more
- Take the stairs rather than the elevator
- Walk during part of your lunch
- During inclement weather, try walking indoors at a mall
- Wake up earlier and exercise before doing anything else
- Desk job: get up every hour and move around for 10 minutes
- Ideally, walk 60 mins/day
- Use a wearable fitness tracker to count steps
- Increase steps by 500 each week
- Have a goal of reaching 10,000 steps/day which produces many healthy benefits
Remember, sitting is the new smoking. By making some simple lifestyle changes and incorporating some of these ideas into your daily routine, you too can improve your heart health.
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