Cut off one hour of sitting every day to reduce the risk of heart disease by 25%, the study said
- Reducing sitting by one hour per day reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by 12%
- It also reduces the risk of heart disease by as much as 26%.
- Long-term women were 52% more likely to be at risk than those who sat for the same length of time but in short, interrupted times
- Sitting reduces blood flow to the heart and destroys cells that line the surface of the blood vessels
Mary Kekato's health reporter for Dailymail.com
Women who do sports have a dramatically reduced risk of heart disease compared to those who sit for longer periods, a new study shows.
Reducing sitting time by just one hour a day has reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by more than 10 percent in women and by more than 25 percent in heart disease.
Previous studies have shown that changing sitting with physical activity reduces the risk of various diseases such as kidney disease, lung disease, liver disease, Alzheimer's and even cancer.
The team, led by the University of California, San Diego, said its study was the first to investigate whether prolonged sitting increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
A new study has shown that reducing sitting by just one hour a day reduced a woman's risk of cardiovascular disease by 12 percent and heart disease by 26 percent (image file).
For the study published in Circulation, the team looked at more than 5,600 women aged 63-97 who had not had a stroke or heart attack in the past.
The women carried accelerators on their hips almost 24 hours a day, measuring the movement or lack of movement.
Their physical activity was followed for four to seven days and their cardiovascular health was monitored for nearly five years.
The researchers found that women had a 12 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 26 percent lower risk of heart disease for each additional hour they did not sit.
Women who sat the most – eleven or more hours a day – were more likely to be white, had the highest BMI scores, and had health problems, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, compared to women who had the least amount of sitting.
They also found that women who sat uninterruptedly for longer periods had a 52 percent higher risk of heart disease than women who sat the same length of time but in short, interrupted periods.
The researchers say the risk can be easily reduced by engaging in any type of physical activity for a minute or two.
"The lowering of the meeting time does not have to happen all at once," said co-author Dr. Andrea LaCroix, Chief of Epidemiology, Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego.
"I recommend to all women, like me, over 60 years, make conscious efforts to interrupt our sitting by getting up and moving as often as possible."
Further investigation is needed to understand why sitting poses such a risk. The team says it reduces the amount of venous and arterial blood that flows to the heart.
It also has a negative effect on the endothelium, a cell layer that lines the surface of the blood vessels.
According to Cedars-Sinai, endothelial dysfunction has been shown to be an indicator of heart attack, as the arteries can not fully expand.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US and the leading cause of death in women over the age of 65.
In addition, nearly 68 percent of women between the ages of 60 and 79 suffer from cardiovascular disease.
For this reason, the researchers demand that public health officials emphasize the importance of heart health in older women.
"Promoting less-sitting time and shorter seizures in older women could have big benefits for public health," said lead author Dr. John Bellettiere, a research fellow in cardiovascular disease at UC San Diego