Sitting for long periods appears to increase the risk of stroke: People who sit a lot every day are 44% more likely to get sick. But even a few minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise can significantly reduce risk.
Sitting for long periods of time is unhealthy, and this is now generally known. A new study shows that it’s also a risk factor for stroke. The researchers followed about 7,600 US citizens for an average of seven years. During that time, 286 strokes occurred, which affected people who often lacked exercise. For the third least exercised, light physical activity reduced the risk of stroke by 26 percent and moderate to intense activity by 43 percent. On the other hand, prolonged sitting increases the risk of stroke by an average of 44 percent. The results of the study were published in the specialized journal “JAMA Network Open”.
Endurance exercise didn’t appear to be necessary to reduce risk: One to nine minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity was associated with a 38 percent lower risk of stroke. Being active for more than 10 minutes does not bring any other benefits.
Overall, the researchers found that the risk increased with the daily amount of sitting: it increased by 14 percent for every hour of sitting and decreased by 14 percent for every hour of light movement. From the results, the researchers concluded that incorporating short units of physical activity into daily life is sufficient to significantly reduce the risk of stroke.
Source: DOI 10.1001 / Jamanetworkopen.2022.15934
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