In an average eight-hour workday, employees are seated at desks for the majority of it. As technology creates an increase in sedentary lifestyles, the impact of sitting on vascular health is a rising concern.
Vascular health pertains to the circulatory system through the vessels and ducts that blood is pumped through. Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine found that when a person sits for six straight hours, vascular function is impaired.
Findings indicated that blood flow in the popliteal – an artery in the lower leg – was greatly reduced after sitting at a desk for six hours. Researchers then had the participants take a short walk, and found that 10 minutes of self-paced walking could restore the impaired vascular function and improve blood flow.
Many workplaces are sedentary environments, and researchers believe it’s important that people understand the effects of sitting for long periods of time and the effects that it has on their vascular health. By breaking up desk time with a short walk, workers can offset the harm caused to vascular blood vessels.
- Robert M. Restaino, Seth W. Holwerda, Daniel P. Credeur, Paul J. Fadel, Jaume Padilla. Impact of prolonged sitting on lower and upper limb micro- and macrovascular dilator function. Experimental Physiology, 2015; 100 (7): 829 DOI: 10.1113/EP085238