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New Evidence being a Couch Potato could lead to Heart Disease

January 10, 2011

Some people call it the couch potato syndrome.... Hours spent in front of the T-V or computer with little or no activity.  Now there's new evidence of just how a sedentary lifestyle can be hazardous to your health. 

Americans have developed some bad habits in the last few decades.  Many of us spend our workdays slouched over a desk, sitting in front of a computer. We sit during our commute home. Then we sit some more vegging out in front of the t-v or computer (during our down time). 

All of this sitting on our rear ends is likely to bring our lives to an end sooner than we'd like. "People who are sedentary have increased inflammation just as a result of sitting. Perhaps it's something to do with less muscle contraction," said Dr. Marc Gillinov from the Cleveland Clinic.

Increased inflammation in the body is linked to heart disease. And a new study from the u-k finds markers for inflammation were twice as high in people who spent more than 4 hours a day sitting in front of a computer or t-v.  They were also much more likely to suffer major cardiac problems and die prematurely.  

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According to Dr. Gillinov, "we have the solution. We're just not applying it."   That solution? Exercise. Whether you get to a gym or simply put on a pair of sneakers -- the point is to get moving -- some how, some way, every day. 

 "Take the stairs instead of an elevator. Walk down the hallway to talk to somebody instead of sending an email," said Dr. Gillinov.  However we get the message -- doctors say it's those little ways of working exercise into our otherwise sedentary lifestyles, that will help make a difference in the long run.

The increased risk of heart-related problems held steady, even when researchers accounted for smoking, high blood pressure and body mass index.

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