Experts have warned us time and again about the deadly affects of sitting for more than eight hours. Research after research has hammered how it can give you heart disease, poor circulation and joint pain. What is the solution you ask? Well, sit far too less.
Growing evidence shows that the damage caused by long hours of sitting can be reversed without necessarily being on your feet for eight hours or more a day.
Indiana University has published a study that has found that if you take regular five-minute walking breaks, you could reverse the decreased blood flow in your legs which occurs because of sitting for longer hours.
When you sit for some time, the blood in your legs puddle and doesn’t flow smoothly to the heart. This is a precedent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. According to the study, just an hour of sitting can impair the normal blood flow by as much as 50 percent.
The researchers didn’t find this decline in men who walked for five minutes on a treadmill for each hour they sat. “American adults sit for approximately eight hours a day,” Saurabh Thosar, the study’s lead author, said in a statement. “The impairment in endothelial function is significant after just one hour of sitting. It is interesting to see that light physical activity can help in preventing this impairment.”
If you are unwilling or unable to get a standing desk at work or have to sit and commute for long, all is not lost for you. You could ward off the dangers of sitting too much with moderate movement to promote healthy blood flow in your body.
The participants of the study were healthy males of ages between 20 and 35 and did not suffer any health issues like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes. “They were inactive people though; they did not exercise regularly,” Thosar said in an interview. “There is a risk that people who don’t exercise can start sitting more and more. That’s why we chose that population.”
The study was published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
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