Sitting, Heart Disease: 7 Ways to Get Moving

Sitting for long blocks of time can increase your risk of developing different illnesses, including heart and vascular diseases, research shows. But staying fit can help you fight some of the negative side effects of too much sitting, according to a recent study published by the American College Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

The facts: For every hour of extended sitting, men face a 5-percent increase in risk factors related to cardiovascular disease, and women face a 4-percent increase in those risk factors, the study reports. But there is a prescription for reducing your risk.

“High levels of cardiorespiratory fitness abolished the increased odds of having cardiovascular disease risk-factor clustering associated with high sedentary time,” the study reports.

And while overall fitness is the prescription for too much sitting, reducing the amount of time you spend in a chair or sofa can also improve your health.

“If you have a desk job, sitting less can be a challenge, but make that choice — you need to take a stand for your health,” says Georgia Saborio, supervisor of Employee Fitness at Baptist Health South Florida.

Sit less and move more for your well-being. If you just stand more, it increases your energy, burns more calories, tones muscles, improves your posture and increases blood flow. Ms. Saborio offers the following strategies for better fitness.

7 Tips for Cutting Sitting Time

  1. At work… Stand and take a break from your computer every hour. Set an hourly alarm on your cell phone or computer.
  2. Walk to your colleagues’ desks instead of phoning or e-mailing.
  3. Drink more water. Frequent trips to the water fountain and toilet will break up sitting time.
  4. Stand during phone calls.
  5. At home… Get off the couch and walk around the house during commercial breaks.
  6. Stand to read the newspaper and/or mail correspondence.
  7. Move around the house when checking text and e-mail messages on your cell phone.

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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