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Get Up! Stand Up!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

A prospective study underscores the benefits of being mobile for reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) in older women and suggests that the way sedentary time is accumulated might be equally relevant for cardiovascular health.

Exactly how long is too long to be sitting at one period of time is still open for debate and the subject of several ongoing studies, explained lead author John Bellettiere, PhD, research fellow of cardiovascular disease epidemiology, University of California, San Diego (UCSD). What's novel here is that participants who sat for longer periods had higher CVD risk than those who continually interrupted their sitting throughout the day.

"People compare it to driving a five-speed manual transmission, where sitting down is like being in reverse. Everybody needs to reverse some time, but you can't expect to skip the first few gears and go all the way to fifth gear, which is exercise. "It looks like from our study that there is benefit from just breaking up your sitting with any kind of standing or moving; it doesn't have to be exercise."

Senior study author Andrea LaCroix, MPH, PhD, professor and chief of epidemiology, family medicine and public health at UCSD, cautioned that the correlations of sedentary time and mean bout duration with CVD are not causation. However, this is the first prospective study of fatal and nonfatal CVD events that used objective measures of sedentary time in a wide range of women, nearly half of whom were older than 80 years.

 "The issue is that for most older women saying, 'Hey, you should go out and do more moderate or vigorous physical activity,' is something like saying, 'you should climb Mount Kilimanjaro and if you can't climb Mount Kilimanjaro, this risk factor is not modifiable for you.'"

"The current physical activity guidelines say 'if you can't do moderate, vigorous exercise, do as much as you can do' and I think it says that because the mortality studies thus far support that," she observed. "The question is whether the heart disease studies follow suit or does your heart require more intense physical activity."

DYNAMIC COMBO (Boomer Barley)



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