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Health, Science & Tech

Sitting Less Vs. Exercising More is Focus of New Pitt Study

An increasing number of studies show that the more time people spend sitting, the more likely they are to develop heart disease, diabetes and other health problems. The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health has received a $3 million grant to conduct a comprehensive study on the effects of sitting.

The study will accompany the Group Lifestyle Balance program which has already been proven to help at-risk people lose weight. Participants will be divided into two groups, one of which will conform to the existing exercise plan.

“The other arm will have the same diet and same behavioral activities, but instead of focusing on aerobic activity and resistance training, it’s going to  focus on being aware of how much time you spend sitting, and decreasing that time,” said researcher Andrea Kriska.

The groups will alternate between sitting less and exercising more through alternating weeks. Researchers will monitor them to see what has the greatest effect.

The team is currently in the process of choosing the 300 study's participants, who must be 50-years or older and at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other weight-related problems.

But Kriska said anyone can test the researchers' hypothesis without making any major lifestyle changes. She said getting up and moving around at least once an hour is enough to make a difference.