The Heart Foundation has reiterated the importance of exercise and movement, following media reports on a new study which showed sedentary behaviour had a negative effect on the body rhythms of mice.
Mice were given an exercise wheel, became accustomed to their preferred amount of exercise, and then had the wheel removed. This threw the mice’s body clock out of sync, even for those who had enjoyed less exercise.
“What this research demonstrates is that an increasingly sedentary life-style is completely at odds with the natural rhythm of human life,” Mary Barry, National CEO of the Heart Foundation says.
“Epidemic levels of sedentary behaviour and physical inactivity are turning our in-built body clock on its head.
“This in turn negatively impacts our health and contributes significantly to range of chronic conditions, including heart disease.
“Physical inactivity causes an estimated 14,000 deaths per year, making its impact similar to the carnage caused by smoking.
“Pleasingly however, what the research also showed is that it’s possible to restore the body’s natural rhythm by making an effort to become more physically active.”
The mice’s body clocks had gone back to normal when they were given back their exercise wheel.
“This doesn’t involve running marathons, with as little as 30 minutes physical activity a day beneficial to health.
“We all need to move more and sit less and start living life to a healthier, more active beat.”