By now, most of us know that a growing body of research continues to suggest that prolonged and excessive sedentary behavior puts us at risk for many different health issues.
To add fuel to the fire, a another new study conducted by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) recently found that “sitting for many hours a day” may increase a person’s risk for coronary artery calcification, which according to the ACC, is “a marker of subclinical heart disease that can increase the risk of a heart attack.”
The ACC says the study will be presented this weekend at the 64th Annual Scientific Session in San Diego and reports that the results did not find a link between coronary artery calcification and the amount of exercise that someone performs. This suggests that excessive sitting may impact a person’s heart health more significantly than exercise.
The organizations said that these findings also support the theory that exercise doesn’t fully counteract the negative health effects that are associated with an extremely sedentary lifestyle.
“It’s clear that exercise is important to reduce your cardiovascular risk and improve your fitness level,” Jacquelyn Kulinski, M.D., assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the study’s lead author said in the ACC’s report. “But this study suggests that reducing how much you sit every day may represent a more novel, companion strategy (in addition to exercise) to help reduce your cardiovascular risk.”
In otherwise, one single bout of exercise daily may not be enough to prevent the heart health risks associated with too much sitting, and it’s likely important that we move around periodically throughout the day.
“This study offers a unique perspective on the effects of sedentary behavior because it links sitting with an early marker for heart disease risk, laying the foundation for future studies that could investigate whether changing your habits could potentially reverse the damage before you develop full-blown heart disease,“ the ACC wrote in their report.
According to the ACC, previous studies in the field have also linked sedentary behavior with an increased risk for cardiovascular, disease, diabetes, cancer, and premature death.