Sept News

It’s not just how much exercise you get, but also how much time you spend off your bottom that keeps your heart healthy!

Another day, another study that confirms the reality that sitting is bad for you. Fortunately, says a study on heart health published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, little things can make a difference. This study from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey followed 2,223 participants between the ages of 12 and 49 wore accelerometers for seven days (except while showering or swimming) to measure their activity levels and sedentary behavior, and the result showed that sitting,regardless of the total amount of physical activity the people did, was linked to lower heart fitness.

But it also found that men and women who logged less time sitting had better fitness, as measured on a treadmill test, than those who spent more hours in a chair or on the couch. So instead of focusing on working out, those worried about their health might think instead about sitting less. “Even people who exercise regularly spend the vast majority of their time not exercising,” says Berry. “And it appears that what we do when we’re not exercising is very relevant to our health. Understanding this has the ability to shift the paradigm of thinking about exercise more dramatically than anything else in the field of exercise.”

In general, Berry says, any movement, from walking to taking the stairs and even fidgeting if you absolutely have to be in a chair, is likely better than sitting relatively motionless. “Much more work needs to be done, to develop small scale trials to test the impact that lifestyle changes have irrespective of volitional physical activity,” he says. “We spend so much of our time sitting and doing non-exerciserelated activities that it’s relevant for us to understand that better.”

Dr. Jarett Berry at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

In Physical Therapy our mission is restoring and improving motion in people’s lives. Just a little bit more each day can help reduce the risk of significant health issues. Consistent movement is also vital to maintaining a healthy balance system, and that’s important because falls often lead to significant, costly injuries.

Physical therapists are movement experts. Let us help you get up and get moving.