Reduced Sitting Time Improves Blood Flow in Brain and Legs

During a regular day, the average person sits for eight to10 hours. These high levels of sitting time seem linked to an increased risk for both cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.

First, researchers found that three hours of sitting results in a lower blood flow in the brain and decreased vascular function in legs. Interestingly, these effects were absent when sitting was interrupted by two minutes of walking every half hour.

Second, in co-creation with participants, investigators developed a personalized intervention using a pedometer that provides biofeedback through vibration when sitting longer than 30 minutes. In 24 individuals with increased cardiovascular risk, this intervention successfully reduced daily sitting time by one hour/day across a 16-week intervention.

Moreover, investigators reported an improvement in vascular structure and function and a larger cerebral blood flow after the intervention. These results suggest that reducing sitting time is feasible and a potentially successful approach to reduce risk for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. View abstract.

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