Physicians' Academy for Cardiovascular Education

Prolonged sitting may negatively impact vascular health

Impact of Prolonged Sitting on Peripheral and Central Vascular Health

Literature - Credeur DP, Miller SM, Jones R et al. - Am J Cardiol 2018; published online ahead of print

Introduction and methods

Existing data suggest that prolonged sitting has a negative effect on peripheral vasodilatory function, but it is not clear whether it impacts central vascular health and peripheral vasoconstriction [1-4]. This study assessed whether a single session of prolonged, uninterrupted sitting (3 hours) affects markers of both peripheral (i.e., vasodilatory and vasoconstrictor function) and central vascular health (i.e., aortic: pressures, wave reflection, and vascular stiffness).

For this purpose, 20 asymptomatic non-smoker volunteers, aged 18-55 years, without cardiovascular (CV), metabolic or neurological diseases were recruited, and asked to remain seated for 3 hours. Before, during and after the sitting period, the following measurement were done:

Effect sizes were calculated pairwise and reported using Cohen’s d, with <0.20 considered a small, >0.20 to <0.50 a moderate, and >0.60 a large effect.

Main results

When comparing measurements before and after sitting time, there was:

Central CV hemodynamic response

Peripheral vascular response


Several measurements in a small sample of healthy individuals suggest that prolonged sitting has a negative impact on peripheral and central vascular health, signified primarily by a reduced leg vasodilatory function and an increase in aortic vascular stiffening These data suggest that a single bout of prolonged, uninterrupted sitting may serve as a precursor for initiating the deleterious CV health response associated with long-term sedentarism.


Show references

Find this article online at Am J Cardiol

Share this page with your colleagues and friends: