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Taking Short Breaks From Sitting May Help Waistline and Heart
Date:1/12/2011

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- If you sit all day at an office and worry about its effect on your weight and health, take a few breaks.

That's the advice from a new study that finds that people who sit for extended periods of time without taking short breaks are at higher risk for heart disease than those who take more frequent timeouts to stand up and walk around.

The cardiovascular risk that stems from remaining sedentary for prolonged periods of time (at the office, for example) manifests itself in the form of larger waists, higher blood pressure, higher levels of triglycerides, increased body inflammation and lower levels of "good" cholesterol, the authors noted.

What's more, the negative impact of such lengthy bouts of inactivity seems to apply even to those who routinely go to the gym.

"These findings are not surprising," said Dr. Murray A. Mittleman, director of the cardiovascular epidemiology research unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an associate professor in the department of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

"In fact, the Surgeon General report recommends that individuals should accumulate activity incrementally throughout the day," noted Mittleman, who was not a member of the Australian research team. "And this is really consistent with that."

The team, led by Genevieve N. Healy, of the Cancer Prevention Research Centre at in the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland in Herston, Australia, report their findings in the Jan. 12 online edition of the European Heart Journal.

"Even if you exercise for 30 to 60 minutes a day, what you do for the rest of the day may also be important for your cardiovascular health," Healy explained. "This research suggests that even small changes to a person's activity levels [as little as standing up regularly] might help to lower cardio
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