Summary: Those who sit for six or more hours a day are at a significantly increased risk of heart disease and premature death.
Source: Simon Fraser University
New research reinforces the argument that prolonged sitting can be hazardous to your health.
An international study of more than 100,000 people in 21 countries found that people who sat six to eight hours a day had a 12-13% increased risk of premature death and heart disease, while those who sat more than eight hours a day increased this risk. at 20%.
The study, co-led by Scott Lear, professor of health sciences at Simon Fraser University, and Wei Li of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing, is published today in the journal JAMA Cardiology.
Their research followed individuals for an average of 11 years and determined that long periods of sitting were associated with an increased risk of premature death and cardiovascular disease. While sitting was problematic in all countries, it was particularly so in low- and lower-middle-income countries.
“The overriding message here is to minimize the time spent sitting,” says Lear. “If you must sit, exercising more at other times of the day will offset that risk.”
Unsurprisingly, those who sat the most and were the least active had the highest risk – up to 50% – while those who sat the most but were also the most active had a significantly lower risk of around 17%.
“For those who sit more than four hours a day, replacing half an hour of sitting with exercise reduces the risk by 2%,” Lear notes. “With only one in four Canadians meeting activity guidelines, there is a real opportunity for people to increase their activity and reduce their risk of premature death and heart disease.”
The study found a particular association in low-income countries, leading the researchers to speculate that it might be because sitting in high-income countries is generally associated with higher socio-economic status. -higher economy and better paid jobs.
Clinicians should focus on less sitting and more activity because it’s an inexpensive intervention that can have huge benefits, Lear notes.
But while clinicians need to get the message out about tackling sitting through activity, individuals need to better assess their lifestyle and take their health seriously, adds Lear. “Our study found that a combination of sitting and inactivity accounted for 8.8% of all deaths, which is close to the contribution of smoking” (10.6% in the study by Lear et al. Li). “It’s a global problem that has a remarkably simple solution. Allowing time to get out of that chair is a good start.
About this cardiovascular disease research news
Author: Press office
Source: Simon Fraser University
Contact: Press Office – Simon Fraser University
Image: Image is in public domain
Original research: Access closed.
“Association of sitting time with mortality and cardiovascular events in high-, middle-, and low-income countries” by Sidong Li et al. JAMA Cardiology
Association of time spent sitting with mortality and cardiovascular events in high-, middle- and low-income countries
High periods of sitting time are associated with increased risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality in high-income countries, but it is unclear whether the risks also increase in low- and middle-income countries.
To investigate the association of time spent sitting with mortality and major cardiovascular disease in countries at different economic levels using data from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology study.
Design, framework and participants
This population-based cohort study included participants aged 35-70 years recruited from January 1, 2003 and followed through August 31, 2021, in 21 high-income, middle-income, and low-income countries with a median follow-up of 11.1 years.
Daily sitting time measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire.
Main results and measures
The composite of all-cause mortality and major cardiovascular disease (defined as cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, or heart failure).
Of 105,677 participants, 61,925 (58.6%) were female and the mean (SD) age was 50.4 (9.6) years. During a median follow-up of 11.1 (IQR, 8.6-12.2) years, 6233 deaths and 5696 major cardiovascular events (2349 myocardial infarction, 2966 stroke, 671 heart failure and 1792 cardiovascular deaths) have been documented. Compared to the reference group (<4 hours per day in a sitting position), a higher time spent in a sitting position (≥8 hours per day) was associated with an increased risk of a composite outcome (relative risk [HR], 1.19; 95% CI, 1.11-1.28; Pfor trend < 0.001), all-cause mortality (HR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.10-1.31; Pfor trend < 0.001) and major cardiovascular disease (RR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.10-1.34; Pfor trend < .001).
Stratified by country income level, the association of time spent sitting with the composite outcome was stronger in low-income and lower-middle-income countries (≥8 hours per day: RR, 1.29; CI 95% CI, 1.16-1.44) compared to high-income and upper-middle-income countries (HR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.98-1.19; Pfor interaction = 0.02). Compared to those who reported sitting less than 4 hours per day and having a high level of physical activity, participants who sat 8 or more hours per day had a 17% to 50% higher associated risk of the outcome composite by physical activity levels; and the risk was mitigated with increasing levels of physical activity.
Conclusions and relevance
Long periods of sitting were associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease in economically diverse settings, particularly in low- and lower-middle-income countries. Reducing sedentary time while increasing physical activity could be an important strategy to alleviate the global burden of premature death and cardiovascular disease.
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