Physical fitness Averts Adverse Health Effects of Sedentary Behaviour, Study


Physical fitness helps avert adverse health effects of sedentary behavior, according to a study conducted by researchers at the American Cancer Society, The Cooper Institute and the University of Texas.

Researchers said that when physical fitness is taken into account, the cause and effect of prolonged sedentary time and obesity is less prominent.

According to the World Health Organization, 60 to 85 percent of people in the world lead sedentary lifestyle making it a serious public health concern in current society. Physical inactivity is the leading cause of disease and disability.

Previous studies have linked sedentary behavior with obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some cancers (colon), high blood pressure, anxiety and premature death among others. But they have not focused on the protective impact of fitness that is a strong indicator of cardiovascular disease occurrence and mortality.

For the current study, researchers analysed the association of sedentary behavior, physical activity, and fitness to obesity and metabolic biomarkers among 1304 men at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas, between 1981 and 2012.

Sedentary time was measured on the basis of participants' self-reported television viewing time and time spent in a car based on a 1982 survey. Fitness was determined through treadmill tests during clinic visits.

The researchers found that too much sitting was associated with higher levels of systolic blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and lower levels of HDL (good cholesterol).

"[A]lthough our findings suggest the need to encourage achieving higher levels of fitness through meeting physical activity guidelines to decrease metabolic risk," the researchers said in a press release. "The effects of reducing sedentary time on cardiometabolic risk biomarkers warrant further longitudinal exploration using objective measurement."

The finding is published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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