Escape your chair this September for your heart

By June Shannon Heart News   |   30th Aug 2019

Sitting for too long puts your heart at risk, this September the Irish Heart Foundation wants you to ‘Escape Your Chair’.

Today, Monday 02 September, The Irish Heart Foundation launched its month-long heart health campaign entitled, ‘Escape Your Chair’.

The campaign, which aims to raise awareness of prolonged sitting as a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, was launched by Dr Ciara Kelly, GP, Columnist and Newstalk Radio Broadcaster.

September is Heart Month and for the next four weeks the Irish Heart Foundation will be encouraging and helping the public to move more and sit less during their commute, working day and leisure time.

An Ipsos MRBI Omnipoll revealed that people in Ireland spend on average 7.3 hours a day sitting down. Higher levels of sedentary behaviour are associated with a 147 per cent increase in the risk of heart disease and stroke. There is increasing evidence that the positive health benefits of exercise may not entirely counteract the negative effects of a mostly sedentary lifestyle.

As part of its #EscapeYourChair heart month campaign, the Irish Heart Foundation has created a range of resources to help people move more and sit less. These include, an online sitting time calculator, a Deskercise video, a Move More Walking Challenge, a Couch to 5k guide, as well as expert tips and advice on how to increase physical activity levels. These are available at

"As sedentary behaviour increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, it’s important to get moving,"

Dr Ciara Kelly, GP

On Saturday, September 28th at 9.30am, the Irish Heart Foundation is encouraging everyone to walk, jog, or run at their local parkrun for the Irish Heart Foundation’s ‘Heart Hero 5K’ in association with parkrun Ireland. To encourage and everyone to get involved, the Irish Heart Foundation is providing a number of different training guides and plans.

Speaking at the launch, Dr Ciara Kelly said: “This Heart Month is the perfect starting point for anyone who would like to make a positive change for their health. As sedentary behaviour increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, it’s important to get moving. Throughout the day we can make improvements to how long we are sitting down; from getting off the bus a few stops earlier, to going for a walk at lunch or signing up to a new fitness class in your spare time.”

“By taking part in the Heart Hero 5k on Saturday, 28th September and donating €20, you can help support the Irish Heart Foundation in leading the fight to prevent heart disease and stroke. Visit to view how you can move more and sign up.”

Tara Curran, Slí na Sláinte Coordinator with the Irish Heart Foundation said: “80% of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable. As physical inactivity is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, we are encouraging people to make small changes to incorporate more physical activity into their day. It is recommended that we get 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity at least 5 days of the week, but this does not cancel out the damage caused to our health by sitting for long periods of time. According to the latest Irish Sports Monitor (2017), 13% of Irish adults are sedentary.”

“Small changes can go a long way to improve your heart health so check out ways to move more and sit less at” she added.

Sarah O’Brien, National Lead: Healthy Eating and Active Living Programme, Health and Wellbeing said: “This is a simple but important message, our focus in HSE, Health and Wellbeing is about encouraging people to make small changes to their current lifestyle which can have a big impact on their future health, finding ways to be more active and reducing the amount of time you sit, together can positively affect a person’s future quality of life.”


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