Excessive sedentary lifestyle during leisure time increases the risk of stroke sevenfold – 09/01/2021

Sedentary leisure activities (watching television, reading, using your cell phone, using the computer, playing video games) may increase the risk of stroke in adults. This is what a study published in the scientific journal Stroke, from the American Heart Association, shows.

By reviewing Canadian health and lifestyle records, researchers at the University of Calgary found that adults under the age of 60 who spend eight or more hours a day in sedentary leisure activities are seven times more likely to suffer from a stroke.

Scientists analyzed information from 143,000 adults without episodes of leakof heart disease or cancer who participated in the Canadian Community Health Survey during the years 2000, 2003, 2005 and during the period 2007 to 2012.

During follow-up that lasted almost a decade — ending December 31, 2017 — 2,965 strokes were recorded. From there, the researchers checked how much time each of the 143,000 participants spent on sedentary activities. The volunteers were divided into four groups:

  • Less than four hours of sedentary leisure per day;
  • From four to less than six hours per day;
  • From six to less than eight hours per day;
  • Eight or more hours a day.

The average time spent sedentary during leisure time was almost four hours per day among adults under 60 years old. But in the group reporting eight or more hours of sedentary leisure time and low physical activity, the risk of stroke was seven times higher.

“People need to be aware that sedentary behaviors can have adverse health effects,” Raed Joundi, lead author of the study, told the American Heart Association website.

The scientist clarified that the analysis of the sedentary time of the study volunteers did not take into account the work period. He said more and more people are taking up hobbies that involve little exercise, which can lead to health problems.

Among Brazilians aged 50 to 59, time spent on activities like watching TV increased from 2 hours and 12 minutes to 3 hours and 15 minutes during the pandemic. Using tablets or computers also saved more time: it went from 3 hours and 25 minutes to 4 hours and 13 minutes.

The data comes from the ConVid Behavior survey, carried out by Fiocruz (Fundação Oswaldo Cruz), in partnership with UFMG (Federal University of Minas Gerais) and Unicamp (State University of Campinas).

Grayson Saunders

"Typical thinker. Unapologetic alcoholaholic. Internet fanatic. Pop culture advocate. Tv junkie."

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