Exercise Can Reverse Heart Damage From Sitting

A Forbes feature on health provided the reminder that it is not too late to take control of your health. Specifically, exercise can reverse the health damage inflicted on your heart by a sedentary lifestyle of sitting. 

A feature in the American Heart Association’s Circulation journal studied 52 middle aged adults who were inactive but otherwise healthy. The participants were broken into two groups. One group was dubbed the “committed exercise” group and practiced high intensity interval training and resistance exercises four to five days per week. The second group performed balance and flexibility training for two to three days per week and were the “casual exercise” group. 

The results were astounding. The “committed exercise” group showed great cardiovascular improvement while the “casual exercise” group did not show the same benefits. The importance of this study is obvious. Most people spend the vast majority of the day sitting down and evidence that this takes a terrible toll on your health is overwhelming. 

It is worth noting that some studies have shown that exercise alone cannot undo the dangers of prolonged sitting and the simple expedient of standing more shows great promise. For a number of tips and tricks on how to improve your health even if you work a sedentary job or have other responsibilities that keep you off your feet, please see my previous article, "Tips for Staying Active in the Office." Remember, as a general rule, if you’ve been sitting for one hour, you’ve sat too long. At bare minimum, avoid sitting for more than 50 minutes out of every hour.