Recent studies have connected prolonged periods of sitting to serious health risks. Extended periods of sitting have been linked to increased waist size, low levels of HDL cholesterol and high levels of triglycerides, which can all be indicative of increased risk for conditions like heart disease or diabetes. Fortunately, it seems as though even small changes to your routine during sedentary activities can make a big difference in reducing those risks.
Researchers in Australia have found that short breaks from sedentary activities can have a positive impact on the cardiovascular health of people who sit for extended periods. This study, published in the European Heart Journal, analyzed data of more than 5000 people who wore accelerometers to track the time spent sitting and the time of breaks from sedentary activities.
Researchers found that participants who took the most breaks from sitting seemed to show fewer signs of impending health risks than those who didn’t take breaks. The most noticeable difference was visible in the waist size of participants.Those who took the most breaks during sedentary activities had a waist size of up to four centimeters smaller than those that took the fewest breaks.
In addition to taking frequent breaks from sedentary activities, there are a number of other ways to decrease your risk heart disease and metabolic disorders. Your health care professional can give you plenty of advice on making alterations to your diet that could help you lose weight and improve your cholesterol. Your health care provider should also be able to provide ideas for ways to safely implement more physical activity into your daily routine.