Too Much Sitting Linked to Poor Heart Health

How many hours a day do you spend sitting?

If you’re used to sitting at your desk at work, in the car, in front of the TV on the couch, and at the dinner table, you might not think about it that much.

But take a minute to add up the amount of time you spend sitting per day, and you might be surprised. The average adult spends 10 or more hours a day sitting. That’s easy to do with a day job, a commute, and a little time relaxing after a long day.

But sitting for long periods of time can be a problem. According a recent study, published in the journal Circulation, sitting for 10 or more hours a day may be bad for your heart.

Specifically, researchers noticed that people who sit for longer periods of time have higher levels of a protein called troponin in their blood. It’s a warning sign of a heart problem. When someone has a heart attack, large amounts of troponins are released.

Researchers found that people who sit for 10 hours or more a day have above average levels of troponins, compared to people who sit less. And even slightly elevated levels are enough to cause concern for heart damage over time.

Is there anything you can do about it?

Sit less and move more. Even getting up once an hour to stretch, stand up, and take a short break can make a difference. So can using a stand-up desk, or planning time for a short walk break a few times during the day. And if you can set aside at least 30 minutes a day for exercise, even better.

Any kind of cardiovascular exercise will help keep your heart healthy. But it’s not just exercise that matters for your heart. What you eat matters too. And if you want to project your heart, make sure you're eating heart healthy foods like the meals you'll find on our Low-Sodium menu.

See Our Low Sodium Meals