A sedentary lifestyle can lead to health conditions like type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. In serious cases, these conditions can also increase the risk of anxiety and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This is not exactly surprising news, but a new study from the University of Ottaway Heart Institute in Canada showed that regular exercise may not help reverse the effect of these risks.
In a study of 278 patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), a common condition where plaque buildup blocks the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart (NIH
), scientists monitored the daily activities of their participants for nine days. Before entering the study, the CHD patients had entered a cardiac rehabilitation program where they received instructions on how to increase their daily exercise to a healthy living level. During the study BMI, cardiorespiratory fitness, and other health measurements were taken.
The study resulted in an average of 8 sedentary hours calculated for all 278 CHD patients, despite the clear instructions they received on how to be healthy by exercising. In addition, more time sitting was directly associated with increased BMI and decreased cardiorespiratory fitness.
The most important and concerning part of this study was that the amount of exercise each participant completed had no effect on their BMI, cardiorespiratory fitness, or other measurements.
"Limiting the amount of time we spend sitting may be as important as the amount we exercise," said Dr. Stephanie Prince, leader of the study.
However, it is still up in the air about the connection between sedentary lifestyle and exercise levels. Some studies have shown that exercise can offset health risks from a sedentary lifestyle.
Source: Medical News Today