Does Sitting Too Much Lead to Heart Disease?


“Sitting is the new smoking” has become a common catchphrase in certain circles. This statement begs the question: Just how much sitting is too much? In a world where health fads come and go, it’s critical to look for research to support the claim that sitting can be harmful to heart health.

How Being Sedentary Affects Heart Health

Nine long-term studies that followed 11,000 adults for up to 11 years reveal that the link between being sedentary and heart disease is not so black and white. Researchers analyzed the data from these studies and determined that sitting for up to 10 hours a day does not pose any additional risk to cardiovascular health.

Extreme Sitting Increases Rate of Heart Disease

Moderate levels of sedentary time does not appear to increase the chances for developing cardiovascular disease.
Sedentary time includes moments of low-activity, such as sitting, driving or watching TV. It was only in adults who spent more than 10 hours each day being sedentary that researchers noted an 8 percent increase in heart disease risk.

Men and women who were the most sedentary in the study, spending approximately 12 hours a day being sedentary, were 14 percent more likely to develop heart disease than those who were only sedentary 2.5 hours a day.

Reduce Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Exercise is an important way to support your heart health and prevent against heart disease. In addition to regular physical activity, the growing availability of standing desks and other workplace interventions can help limit prolonged sitting times. If you find yourself being sedentary for 10 or more hours a day, there are steps you can take to become more active and protect your cardiovascular health.