DOI: 10.5176/2251-3833_GHC16.27

Authors: Moustafa Moustafa-Bayoumi, PhD and Michael T.C. Liang, PhD


Abstract: Some adults who meet the minimal recommendations for physical activity time each week are still at an increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) or coronary artery disease (CAD) because these physically active adults are spending most of their waking hours in sedentary behaviors. This underscores the importance of the amount of time spent per day in sedentary behavior during their waking hours. Most research studies exclude sleeping time as spending time in sedentary behavior, and use self-reported time spent sitting or time spent watching television or video monitor to assess sedentary behavior. The association between sedentary behavior and risk for CVD or CAD as well as developing risk factors for the disease is high. The health impacts of increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary time using various wearable technologies and recommended intervention strategies are a field that warrants further research. While genetic risk factors for CVD have been well-documented, emerging evidence has linked epigenetic mechanisms (heritable changes to gene expression that are not from differences in the genetic code) with many CVDs. Epigenetic mechanisms are regulated by many factors including diet and physical activity. Recent evidence provides support for the theory of epigenetic inheritance in which epigenetic alterations in gametes are transferable from parents to offspring. This new dimension of risk for CVD susceptibility and its interaction with other factors such as diet and physical activity underscore the complexity of CVD risk factors and their regulatory role in prevention, management, and possibly diagnosis of CVDs. This short review examines the interplaying role of sedentary behavior, physical activity, and epigenetics in CVD risk.

Keywords: Sedentary behaviour; physical activity; epigenetics; cardiovascular diseases; wearable technologies.

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