January 14th, 2011
02:02 PM ET
Anchored to your desk and chair all day? Get up, stretch, walk, move. Even if you’re old. Here’s why.
Take a break.
Even a brief break can be good for your heart and weight, according to the European Heart Journal. With more people increasingly tethered to the phone and their cubicles, the evidence that prolonged sitting is bad is mounting, reported the BBC.
“Experts found those who sat down for long periods without getting up had a larger waist circumference and lower levels of good HDL cholesterol,” according to the news website.
The researcher told them that even a small change such as standing up for a minute and taking short breaks could help lower this health risk.
Elderly should exercise too
It may sound like contrary advice: Use exercise to prevent falls for the elderly.
Fall injuries are as serious as heart attacks and strokes for older people, according to an article published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Elderly people should be exposed to more exercise for better balance, gait through strength training such as tai chi or physical therapy. Also, helping older people lower blood pressure and manage heart rate and rhythm could prevent falls. The American Geriatrics Society and the British Geriatric Society recommended that exercise could have these additional benefits.
Walk more, reduce diabetes
Scientists tracked nearly 600 Australians between 2000 and 2005. The participants all wore pedometers.
Five years later, the volunteers who had higher daily step counts were more likely to have lower body-mass index, lower waist-to-hip ratio and better insulin sensitivity, according to HealthDay.
The cost of obesity is more than a pretty penny
A study released this week estimated that the total economic cost of being overweight or obese is $270 billion per year in the United States.
The Society of Actuaries examined the economic costs by looking at the need for medical care, and loss of economic productivity resulting from excess mortality and disability.
Here’s how the actuaries, who are people who assess and calculate risk, came up with that chunk of a sum - $300 billion for U.S. and Canada.
The findings were based on papers regarding overweight and obesity problems published between January 1980 and June 2009.
To find out more, read the press release.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.