Too Much Sitting Linked to Fat Build-Up Around Your Heart
An eye opening story from Los Angeles about the risk of sitting too much whether it's at work, at home or anywhere. Sitting for 8-hours a day appears to increase the amount of fat around your heart and exercise will not get rid of it, even if you run every day.
Doctor Britta Larsen and her team at the University of California presented their findings to the annual convention of the American Heart Association.
CT scans of more than 500 older Americans showed that excess time spent sitting is significantly related to pericardial fat around your heart.
According to Larsen, that means that "even if you run every day but then you sit for eight hours a day, the sitting is still doing something bad for your health." She also noted that studies have found sitting to be detrimental to health even after scientists factored out excess weight gain.
The study found that the more time spent sitting, the bigger the area of fat deposited around a person's heart. Larson says that pericardial fat "is strongly related to cardiovascular disease. It gets in the way of heart function, it clogs up your arteries -- you don't want it there."
The study "really emphasizes that [sitting and exercise] are two distinct behaviors," Larsen explained. "In order to really be healthy you need to focus on both -- get enough exercise but also not sit for 10 hours per day like most of us do."
She acknowledges that it may be difficult for millions of people who are office-bound day after day, but she thinks something as simple as "standing desk", or going for a walk every hour or two at work, can help as well.
There have been other studies indicating that fat around your heart is associated with cholesterol blockages but other experts are quick to point out this particular study does not claim to show cause and effect. In other words they have not established a direct linkage between sitting and heart attacks, or sitting and cholesterol blockages.
(partial files by D. Agar)