Of all daily activities, sitting is the worst for the heart. Replacing it with standing, for example, at the top table already helps, and the best thing is, of course, intense physical exercise. Researchers from University College London analyzed data from six studies involving more than 15,000 people to find out how different types of activities performed during the day affect heart health, writes Twoje zdrowie.
Cardiovascular disease, with coronary artery disease ranking first, is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for approximately a third of deaths. Since 1997, the researchers note, the number of people living with cardiovascular disease has doubled and continues to grow. The authors of the new study compiled a list of different behaviors, from most to least heart-healthy. According to the results, moderate to intense exercise was most beneficial.
Light physical exercise came in second place, followed by standing, lying and sitting positions, which have a detrimental effect. Replacing just five minutes of sitting with vigorous exercise every other day has a noticeable effect on the heart, researchers say.
“One thing to remember from our study is that while small changes can have a positive effect on the heart, the intensity of movement makes a big difference. Changing the seat to moderate to vigorous activity was most helpful. “We’re talking, for example, about running, brisk walking or climbing stairs – any activity that raises your heart rate and makes you breathe faster, even for a minute or two.”– explains Dr. Joe Blodgettfirst author of the article appearing in the European Heart Journal.
According to the researchers, simply replacing a few hours of sitting at a desk with standing can be beneficial. It can improve body mass index, cholesterol levels, waist size and many other benefits.
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