Researchers have found that sitting for long periods increases heart failure risk in men, even for those who exercise regularly.
Deborah Rohm Young, Ph.D., lead researcher and a senior scientist at Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena, California, has advised to be more active and sit less.
Researchers followed a racially diverse group of 84,170 men ages 45 to 69 without heart failure. Exercise levels were calculated in METs, or metabolic equivalent of task, a measure of the body’s energy use. Sedentary levels were measured in hours.
After an average of nearly eight years of follow-up, researchers found that men with low levels of physical activity were 52 percent more likely to develop heart failure than men with high physical activity levels, even after adjusting for differences in sedentary time.
The study also found that outside of work, men who spent five or more hours a day sitting were 34 percent more likely to develop heart failure than men who spent no more than two hours a day sitting, regardless of how much they exercised.
Another finding was that the heart failure risk more than doubled in men who sat for at least five hours a day and got little exercise compared to men who were very physically active and sat for two hours or less a day.
The research has been published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Heart Failure.