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How much time do you spend sitting? If you're like most Americans, you sit an average of 6.5 to 8 hours every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Stephen Kopecky, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, says sitting at home may be worse for your heart than sitting at work. Why? It has to do with what you do or don't do while you're sitting.
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Our bodies were meant to move.
"Sitting is not the best thing for us," says Dr. Kopecky.
He adds that modern life makes it hard for us to move and easy for us to sit.
"We have to sit. We have to rest. The point is don't do it eight hours in a row," says Dr. Kopecky.
Sitting increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. And where you sit — at home or at work — may matter.
"If you sit at work, you usually will end up getting up and moving around, going to the bathroom, going to talk to a co-worker, taking a couple flights of stairs to see a friend, whatever. When we do it at home, we tend to watch TV. And that's the time when we really could be more active and we're not," says Dr. Kopecky.
How can you make time at home in front of a monitor more heart-healthy? Do chores such as folding laundry, or take breaks and walk around the house.
"When you can make a choice, you're choosing to sit. If you can make a choice and you choose to be active, then that's much better," says Dr. Kopecky.
Dr. Kopecky also says when you do sit, put the unhealthy snacks away.