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Health Notes: For women, exercise doesn’t offset negative effects of sitting; vigorous exercise may repair heart

In this installment of Health Notes, we summarize one study that shows for women, exercise doesn’t offset negative effects of sitting; and another that suggests vigorous exercise may repair heart damage.

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You want the latest information about health, physical activity, exercise and wellness, but perhaps you’d rather not wade through the techno-science garble that makes most reports hard to read, let alone understand or pass on to customers. In SNEWS Health Notes, an occasional series, we take a look at recent research that is pertinent to your business and explain it in a way that makes sense. If you have suggestions or comments, let us know by emailing

>>Exercise doesn’t offset negative effects of sitting

As we sit here writing this, just a few days after running a marathon distance, we see just how spot on this study is about how even active women sit too much.

We’ve read the studies about how sitting is the silent killer, and now a new Northwestern University study shows that even getting in our recommended daily exercise is not enough to change the amount of time we sit per day, therefore, according to other studies, leaving our bodies to the risks of prolonged sitting.

The Northwestern research, done in collaboration with Ted Zderic, of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, was recently published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

The study followed 91 healthy women between the ages of 40 and 75 years old. One group got the recommended amount of exercise per day and the other didn’t, but the study found that both groups ended up sitting about the same amount of time per day.

Other studies published have said sitting for long periods of time is linked to higher instances of developing diabetes and increased rate of mortality. The study said there is further studies to be done, such as those on the elderly and children, to see if sitting affects them the same way.

>>So what? Since these studies seem to be a dime a dozen these days, more and more people are going to want to do something about this sitting problem. Whether they are coming into your stores to purchase stability balls to be used as chairs, or a stability ball chair such as the FitBall Chair from Ball Dynamics.

>>For the scientifically minded: Find the free abstract here. The link for the abstract also has an option to download a free provisional PDF of the report.

>>Vigorous exercise could repair heart damage

Good news for your customers who’ve sustained any sort of damage to their heart. If they practice daily vigorous exercise, they may be able to repair some of that damage to their heart.

According to the findings from the study, conducted by a team at Liverpool John Moores University, damaged caused to the heart due to a heart failure or disease could be recovered up to 50 percent or more with just 30 minutes of running or cycling every day. The study’s findings were published in the European Heart Journal.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart attacks and stroke are the most costly and common health problems our country faces today. More and more we’re hearing about companies implementing exercise programs and taking other measures like installing workplace workout centers to help bring down the cost of employee healthcare. Focusing on prevention rather than treatment has been gaining steam.

>>So what? Since a growing trend in fitness retail is to outfit businesses, schools and other light commercial outfits, reaching out to businesses that might be looking to lower the cost of their employee healthcare coverage might be great to target. Plus, this information might be useful in selling stationary bicycles and treadmills to users who may have suffered some heart damage.

>>For the scientifically minded: Find a summary of the study here.

 –Ana Trujillo