Health, Life

Sitting Down Can Bring Heart Health Risks


Studies show that the seemingly harmless task of just sitting down does have some heart health risks.

Sitting is a part of our everyday lives. We do this both at home and even while at work. A study was done and it was discovered that just about 3% of its respondents had a maximum of 4 hours per day of sitting down. This study had about 6,000 people in America the ages of over 18 years old and revealed that 1 out of 4 people sat more than 8 hours per day. The data for this study were collected in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and published in JAMA or the Journal of the American Medical Association.

A recent observational study evaluated information from a group that was later on divided into a group of two which were the Hispanic and the non-Hispanic. Compared to the usual 8.5 hours of sitting down by Hispanic women, Non-Hispanic women usually sit for 9 hours or more per day. The study was in the Journal of the American Heart Association and looked into postmenopausal women’s sitting habits. These women, aged 55 and up were also overweight and obese. The data analyzed was to find out if the sitting time in total was different per group and how it affects the risks of heart disease.


Dr. Dorothy Sears, the study’s lead author and from the Arizona State University College of Health Solutions in Phoenix, states that heart disease is the number cause of death among women. She also adds that a startling increase to the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease follows after menopause. Most commonly for older adults, sitting for long periods is connected to mortality risks and heart health issues 

The women had blood tests done so their blood sugar and insulin resistance can be measured and they wore a device that can track both their physical and sitting activity for 14 days. Obesity is at a BMI of more than 30 kg/m². This was observed through the study of 518 women with a 31 kg/m² (kilograms per meter squared) BMI or Body Mass Index or BMI and aged 63.

An increase of over 7% of insulin resistance is caused by added hours of sitting time in a day. Researches also added that, on average, 15 minutes of additional continuous sitting gives a close to 9% spike in insulin resistance. Spending lesser time on short but continuous periods of sitting down in a day have an impact on Hispanic women’s blood glucose. 

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Dorothy Sears states that long sitting hours are considered to be a risk on a person’s cardiometabolic health without exercise. People should be made aware of the effects of long sitting hours and encouraged to exercise, light physical activities or just simply replace sitting down with standing up, rather than opt for a continuous sitting time. The absence of physical activity such as exercise is a popular cause for cardiovascular issues, the same as the fact that an inactive lifestyle causes risks of high blood pressure and diabetes.