Did you know that your chair can kill?

By June Shannon Heart News   |   10th Sep 2018

Higher levels of sedentary behaviour associated with 147 per cent increase in risk of heart disease and stroke.

More than one in three people in Ireland are unaware that sitting down for long periods of time can increase their risk of heart disease and stroke and Irish people spend on average 7.3 hours a day sitting down, increasing to 8.9 hours a day for students and 8.4 hours a day for young people aged 15-24.

These are some of the findings of a new poll commissioned by the Irish Heart Foundation to mark the launch of its September campaign #chairscankill, which aims to raise awareness of the negative health impacts of sitting down for long periods of time.

The poll, which was carried out by Ipsos MRBI, found that 35 per cent of people in Ireland were unaware that time spent sitting was a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, while in contrast, more than 90 per cent correctly identified high blood pressure, smoking and high cholesterol as cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Sitting down for long periods of time can increase risk of heart disease and stroke

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According to the poll of 1,000 Irish people aged over 15, which was carried out in July 2018, on average, people in Ireland reported that they spent 7.3 hours on a typical weekday sitting down. This breaks down into: 1.2 hours commuting to work, school or college, 3.6 hours spent seated at work, school or college and 2.5 hours sitting down during their free time. Students and young people aged 15 to 24 spent more than the average time sitting down at 8.9 and 8.4 hours a day respectively.

As part of the campaign, the Irish Heart Foundation has developed a simple online sitting calculator which is available at www.chairscankill.ie. The calculator allows users to see exactly how long they spend sitting down on an average day and gives individualised feedback and tips on how to reduce their sitting time.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Janis Morrissey, Head of Health Promotion, Information and Training with the Irish Heart Foundation, said, “Research has shown that sitting for long periods of time increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. In fact, higher levels of sedentary behaviour are associated with a 147 per cent increase in the risk of heart disease and stroke. Even more worryingly, there is now increasing evidence that the positive health benefits of exercise may not entirely counteract the negative effects of a mostly sedentary lifestyle.

"With this campaign, we’re hoping to raise awareness of the fact that sitting for prolonged periods has a negative impact on our heart health,"

Janis Morrissey, Head of Health Promotion, Information and Training , Irish Heart Foundation

“As human beings, we are not designed to sit all day. However, in today’s world many of us spend the majority of our days sitting, whether that’s at home watching TV or on our devices, at a desk in work, or in the car. With this campaign, we’re hoping to raise awareness of the fact that sitting for prolonged periods has a negative impact on our heart health but also spread the message that by making small changes to our habits we all have the power to reduce this negative impact.

“As part of our campaign, we have developed a sitting calculator which will help people to calculate the amount of time they spend sitting down every day. The calculator will give you individualised feedback on your results and is available at www.chairscankill.ie along with useful tips and advice on how to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting down.”

 

Chairs can kill

Did you know that sitting down for long periods of time can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke?

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cardiovascular disease chairs can kill heart disease sedentary behaviour September campaign stroke

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