Beware! Long sitting hours increase heart attack risk

A new study have revealed that spending too much time sitting is not good for heart.

Last Updated: Apr 29, 2016, 00:44 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New York: Do you often sit for long hours? If yes, then stop sitting for long durations and start taking breaks in between.

A new study have revealed that spending too much time sitting is not good for heart.

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, said that sedentary behaviour is associated with increased amounts of calcium deposits in the heart's arteries, which in turn is linked to a higher risk of heart attack.

Amit Khera, senior study author and associate professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre said that it is one of the first studies to show that sitting time is associated with early markers of atherosclerosis buildup in the heart.

He further noted that each additional hour of daily sedentary time is associated with a 12 percent higher likelihood of coronary artery calcification.

In the study published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology, the researchers concluded that reducing daily "sitting time" by even one to two hours per day could have a significant and positive impact on future cardiovascular health.

For many individuals with a desk job that requires them to sit for large portions of the day, they suggested taking frequent breaks.

In this study, the researchers asked some 2,000 participants to wear a device that measured their activity levels for a week.

Participants spent an average of 5.1 hours sitting per day and an average of 29 minutes in moderate to vigorous physical activity each day.

"We observed a significant association between increased sedentary time and coronary artery calcium," Khera said.

"These associations were independent of exercise, traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and socioeconomic factors,” Khera noted.

This research suggests that increased subclinical atherosclerosis characterized by calcium deposition is one of the mechanisms through which sedentary behavior increases cardiovascular risk and that this risk is distinct from the protective power of exercise," he explained.

(With IANS inputs)