Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Men Who Stare At Screens

If you are male, exercise moderately and spend a fair amount of your time sitting and  please take note of the following. The name given to you by exercise physiologists would be "active couch potatoes".

Researchers reported that men who spent more than 23 hours a week watching TV (or their computers) and sitting in their cars (either driving or as passengers) had a 64% greater chance of dying from heart disease than those who sat for less than 11 hours.

This is unexpected as the men who sat long hours and developed heart disease also exercised regularly too. Their exercise did not counteract the ill effects of sitting too long which researchers believe that this leads to  your antigravity (postural) muscles not contracting (or working hard enough).

Since your muscles are unused for hours at a time, they change subtly and as a result your risk for heart disease, diabetes & other diseases rise.

What's more, regular workout sessions do not appear to fully undo the effects of prolonged sitting as there seem to be different pathways involved in the beneficial effects of exercising and the deleterious effects of sitting.

So what would help beyond 30 minutes of jogging or structured exercise is really simple.  Stand up, walk around your office, get up from your sofa and mop the floor at the same time while you're watching TV or during the commercial break.


Waren TY, Barry V et al (2010). Sedentary Behaviours in Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in Men. J Med Sci Sports Ex 42(5) : 879-85.

1 comment:

Riz said...

EH! i set up that tv :D