You probably already know that lots of sitting every day raises calcium score, but here are some clever yet easy solutions to avoid “the sitting disease.”
If you’ve been doing a lot of sitting on a daily basis, this can really do a number on your calcium score number.
The coronary calcium score is a marker for the likelihood of heart disease, as there is a correlation between hard (calcified) plaque buildup and soft (dangerous or unstable) plaque buildup.
Study Results Will Interest You
A study led by Jacquelyn Kulinski, MD, found no link between the calcium score and the exercise habits of the study participants.
But it sure did find an association between sitting time and calcium score, suggesting that gym sessions or jogging workouts, etc., do not nullify the effect of excessive sitting.
Of course, you should keep on exercising, as this goes a long way in cutting your risk of heart disease and attack, plus getting cancer.
But Dr. Kulinski’s paper explains that sitting less can be an additional way to help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
How the Study Was Done
The calcium score and exercise records of over 2,000 Dallas adults were tracked. The results:
• Every hour of sitting time was associated with a 14 percent increase in calcified arteries.
• People with previously diagnosed heart disease were prohibited from this study.
• Sitting time was determined by an accelerometer, a motion tracking tool that the subjects wore: objective data.
• Amount of structured exercise and other common heart disease risk factors (like smoking) did not factor into this equation.
The paper says that even if you reduce daily sitting time by one hour, this could have a meaningful impact on future heart health.
Solutions to the Sitting Disease
• Walk or be on your feet as much as possible, even if it’s just a few minutes at a time. A few-minute break from 60 minutes of straight sitting has a positive impact on your arteries.
• Include a walk on your lunch break. Walk when using the phone.
• Stand and move side to side, forward and back, while watching TV.
A Treadmill Desk Wards off the Sitting Disease
• If your opportunities to walk about at work are limited, buy a treadmill desk for home computer use.
• See if you can set your TV up within viewing range while you’re using the treadmill desk. Another option is to buy a treadmill for use while watching TV.
A lot of daily sitting raises the coronary calcium score: One more reason why sitting is now considered “the new smoking.”
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building and fitness.