Don’t just sit there

New research helps explain why sitting a lot is bad for heart health

Office workers, listen up. A large body of research links sitting for long stretches at a time to increased risk of heart disease, and a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology might help explain why. The researchers analyzed data on 2,030 people free of cardiovascular disease—the average age was 50—and found that being sedentary created more accumulation of calcium in arterial plaque, an indicator of increased risk of heart disease. The longer people sat, the more calcium was found in their hearts. What’s more, exercise did not counteract that effect. Getting away from the desk just a bit more often could go a long way, the study’s authors concluded: “Reducing daily sitting time by even one to two hours per day could have a significant and positive impact on future cardiovascular health.”