Replacing Sitting for a Few Minutes of Activity Each Day Shows Health Benefits

30 extra minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity tied to drops in body mass index



TUESDAY, Dec. 12, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Replacing sitting with even a little moderate exercise each day improves heart health, according to a study published online Nov. 10 in the European Heart Journal.

Joanna M. Blodgett, Ph.D., from University College London, and colleagues investigated associations of five-part movement compositions with adiposity and cardiometabolic biomarkers. The analysis included data from six studies (15,253 participants; five countries) as part of the Prospective Physical Activity, Sitting and Sleep consortium.

The researchers found that a greater moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) proportion and smaller sedentary behavior (SB) proportion were associated with better outcomes. For all outcomes, reallocating time from SB, standing, light-intensity physical activity (LIPA), or sleep into MVPA resulted in better scores. Replacing 30 minutes of SB, sleep, standing, or LIPA with MVPA was associated with −0.63, −0.43, −0.40, and −0.15 kg/m2 lower body mass index, respectively. There was a benefit to greater relative standing time. But sleep had a detrimental association when replacing LIPA/MVPA and positive association when replacing SB. For improved cardiometabolic health, the minimal displacement of any behavior into MVPA ranged from 3.8 (hemoglobin A1c) to 12.7 (triglycerides) minutes/day.

“The most beneficial change we observed was replacing sitting with moderate to vigorous activity — which could be a run, a brisk walk, or stair climbing — basically any activity that raises your heart rate and makes you breathe faster, even for a minute or two,” Blodgett said in a statement.

Abstract/Full Text

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