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New Research Suggests That Standing And Even Sleeping Can Have A More Positive Impact On Heart Health Than Simply Sitting And Leading A Sedentary Lifestyle

Photo 34481090 © Hongqi Zhang (aka Michael Zhang) - Dreamstime.com - illustrative purposes only, not the actual people

Modern adults tend to lead such inactive lifestyles that even substituting a bit of sitting time with some form of activity, like standing or even sleeping, can boost heart health.

This finding is a result of a recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Sydney and the University College of London, which was published in the European Heart Journal.

The team discovered that, on average, adults spend about 9.5 hours a day in a sedentary state. The researchers analyzed six different studies involving a total of 15,000 individuals from five nations. Each participant also wore a tracking device to monitor their daily activities and cardiovascular health.

This revealed that individuals who engaged in more intense activities typically experienced improved heart health. But perhaps more shockingly, even just standing or sleeping was found to contribute to better heart health.

In fact, replacing even five minutes of sitting with moderate to vigorous activity was found to yield a noticeable improvement in the heart health of the participants.

The study included a case where a 54-year-old woman, by substituting 30 minutes of sitting with moderate to vigorous exercise, could experience a 2.4% reduction in her body mass index (BMI) and a 2.7% decrease in waist size. Furthermore, a 3.6% drop in blood sugar levels.

And although Matthew Saybolt, the medical director of the Structural Heart Disease Program at Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center, was not involved in the study, he hopes the researchers’ findings will be far-reaching and begin to impact individuals’ lifestyles.

“As cardiologists, we know that regular physical activity compared to a sedentary lifestyle has positive effects on blood pressure, glucose/sugar levels, body fat, cholesterol, sleep patterns, and mood,” Saybolt explained.

“All of these things are closely linked with the cardiovascular system. We encourage at least mild to moderate exercise and activity daily to all of our stable patients.”

Photo 34481090 © Hongqi Zhang (aka Michael Zhang) – Dreamstime.com – illustrative purposes only, not the actual people

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