People who spend most of the day sitting down could undo some of the damage to their health by having a good fidget, say researchers.
The harmful effects of sitting down for too long are well established, with a series of studies now showing that spending hours in a chair each day can take years off a person’s life.
But a new study of more than 12,000 UK women suggests that those who claimed to fidget the most were apparently protected against the ravages of being seated. The women who sat still for hours on end were more likely to have died over the course of the study than those whose limbs tapped, wobbled and gently vibrated.
This is of particular interest to those of us who’ve had a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Pulmonary Embolism (PE), etc… Someone suggested drinking a lot of water – you flush your system, and are forced to get up for a walk to the restroom. Me? I just go for a walk. It’s nice outside …for now. But I’m guilty of not taking breaks when I drive for more than an hour.
Medical researchers have been steadily building evidence that prolonged sitting is awful for your health. And that’s before getting to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and/or Pulmonary Embolism (PE) sufferers.
Sitting for long periods of time, like many people do daily at their jobs, is associated with risk factors such as higher cholesterol levels and greater waist circumference that can lead to cardiovascular and metabolic disease. When people sit, slack muscles do not contract to effectively pump blood to the heart. Blood can pool in the legs and affect the endothelial function of arteries, or the ability of blood vessels to expand from increased blood flow.
…The researchers were able to demonstrate that during a three-hour period, the flow-mediated dilation, or the expansion of the arteries as a result of increased blood flow, of the main artery in the legs was impaired by as much as 50 percent after just one hour. The study participants who walked for five minutes for each hour of sitting saw their arterial function stay the same — it did not drop throughout the three-hour period. Thosar says it is likely that the increase in muscle activity and blood flow accounts for this.
This also lends credence to why DVTs happen on long distance travel, discounting what I never believed: the air mixture in planes was responsible. Since my original diagnosis, I’ve been told to take breaks and walk when driving or flying long distances (basically over an hour) to prevent future problems…