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University of Warwick

  • Study finds link between sedentary work, larger waist circumference & risk of heart disease
  • People with no risk factors for heart disease walk at least seven miles per day or spend seven hours per day upright.

A new study shows further evidence for the view that spending too much time sitting down is bad for our health and our waistline.

Research led by Dr William Tigbe, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick found workers who have a desk-bound job have bigger waists and increased risk of heart disease. It supports advice to sit less and be more active; as much as seven hours a day on your feet, and walking seven miles, may be needed to avoid heart disease.

Dr Tigbe kitted out 111 healthy Glaswegian postal workers with activity monitors for seven days; 55 were office workers and 56 delivered post for a living. The study revealed differences between the two groups. Those who had desk jobs had a bigger waist circumference — 97 cm compared to 94 cm — and approximately one BMI unit difference. They also had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease — 2.2% compared to 1.6% over ten years.

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