Study Finds Any Physical Activity, Even Sleeping, Is Better than Sitting for Cardiovascular Health Interview with:
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON Can you provide more insight into how much more beneficial moderate to vigorous activities are compared to light activities or standing, in terms of measurable health outcomes?

Response: Our study suggests that the best activity that you can do for your heart is moderate-vigorous activity, followed by a trio of common daily activities: lighter activity, standing and sleeping, with sedentary behaviour being the most harmful. There was a very large and strong association between spending more time in moderate to vigorous activities and better heart health outcomes (outcomes included: BMI, waist circumference, HDL cholesterol, HDL: total cholesterol ratio, triglycerides and blood glucose levels).

For example, replacing 30 min of sedentary behaviour with moderate to vigorous activity was associated with 0.63kg/m2 lower BMI (or –2.4cm lower waist circumference). If an individual were to replace the sedentary time with 30 minutes of light activity instead, we would expect to see a ~0.5 kg/m2 lower BMI. And if an individual replaced their sedentary time with 30 min of either standing or sleep, we would expect to see a ~0.4kg/m2 decrease.  These difference in benefits was much larger when considering cholesterol and triglyceride outcomes.

It was notable that heart health benefits are likely to be observed after replacing just a few minutes of sedentary/sitting time with moderate to vigorous activity. However, to achieve comparable benefits with standing or light activity, it could require 1-3 hours of replacement depending on the outcome (slightly less for measures of obesity such as BMI, much more for cardiometabolic blood biomarkers like cholesterol or triglycerides).

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Chronic Pain Linked to Later Life Pessimism and Joblessness Interview with:
Alex Bryson PhD
Professor of Quantitative Social Science
UCL Social Research Institute
University College London  London

Prof. Bryson What is the background for this study?

Response: The authors were concerned to know more about both the incidence of chronic pain and its implications for health, wellbeing and labour market prospects later in life.  So we turned to a birth cohort study (The National Child Development Study) tracking all those born in Britain in a single week in 1958 through to age 62 to take a life-course approach.