Recent Study Reveals that Any Form of Movement, Including Sleep, Offers Heart Health Benefits Over Prolonged Sitting

Recent Study Reveals that Any Form of Movement, Including Sleep, Offers Heart Health Benefits Over Prolonged Sitting

Recent Study Reveals that Any Form of Movement, Including Sleep, Offers Heart Health Benefits Over Prolonged Sitting

- A recent study conducted by UCL and the University of Sydney has revealed that making slight adjustments to daily activities, such as replacing a few minutes of sitting with moderate exercise, can significantly enhance heart health. 

- The research, supported by the British Heart Foundation and published in the European Heart Journal, is part of the Prospective Physical Activity, Sitting, and Sleep (ProPASS) consortium, involving over 15,000 participants. The study marks the first exploration of the connection between various movement patterns throughout the day and heart health.

- Cardiovascular disease, responsible for one in three global deaths in 2021, remains a critical health concern. The research focused on six common indicators of heart health and analyzed data from wearable devices worn by participants in six studies across five countries. 

- The findings highlighted a hierarchy of behaviors within a typical 24-hour day, with moderate-vigorous activity being the most beneficial, followed by light activity, standing, and sleeping, compared to the adverse impact of prolonged sitting.

- The study's unique approach involved modeling the potential effects on heart health when individuals substituted different behaviors for one another throughout the week. Even as little as five minutes of moderate-vigorous activity proved to have a noticeable positive impact on heart health, according to the research.

- To quantify the benefits, the study provided an example: a 30-minute change in a 54-year-old woman's daily routine resulted in a 0.64 decrease in BMI, a 2.4% difference. Replacing 30 minutes of daily sitting or lying time with moderate or vigorous exercise could lead to a 2.7% decrease in waist circumference or a 3.6% decrease in glycated hemoglobin.

- Dr. Jo Blodgett, the first author of the study, emphasized that while small changes in movement can benefit heart health, the intensity of the activity matters. The most significant positive change observed was replacing sitting with moderate to vigorous activity, such as running, brisk walking, or stair climbing.

- The study also noted that the least active individuals experienced the greatest benefits when transitioning from sedentary behaviors to more active ones. Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis, a senior author of the study, highlighted the use of wearable devices in the ProPASS consortium, allowing for more precise estimation of health effects from subtle variations in physical activity.

- While the findings cannot establish causality between movement behaviors and cardiovascular outcomes, they contribute to a growing body of evidence linking moderate to vigorous physical activity throughout the day with improved body fat metrics. The researchers stressed the need for further long-term studies to better understand these associations.

- Professor Mark Hamer, another senior author of the study, emphasized the novelty of considering a range of behaviors throughout the entire day, enabling the development of personalized recommendations for increasing physical activity

- James Leiper, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, welcomed the encouraging findings, highlighting that even small adjustments to daily routines could lower the risk of heart attacks or strokes. He suggested incorporating "activity snacks" into daily life, such as walking during phone calls or doing short exercises every hour, to promote a healthy and active lifestyle.


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