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Sitting for too long can take a toll on heart health

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Sitting for too long can take a toll on heart healthEven individuals who get plenty of exercise and eat a healthy diet may benefit from cholesterol testing if their job forces them to spend a large percentage of their day sitting at a desk. Experts say that this type of sedentary work can contribute to poor heart health just as much as an overall unhealthy lifestyle.

Steve Blair, a University of South Carolina researcher who has spent decades studying the effects of physical activity on health, told NPR that even if a person spends 30 minutes per day exercising, that still leaves another 15.5 hours in the day in which they are not moving.

"If you're sitting, your muscles are not contracting, perhaps except to type. But the big muscles, like in your legs and back, are sitting there pretty quietly," Blair told the news source. "We're finding that people who sit more have less desirable levels [of cholesterol]"

Most official exercise recommendations have yet to catch up to these new results. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that adults who get 2.5 hours of physical activity per week should have good heart health.

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