A new report published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings indicates that 1 hour of daily exercise increased fitness in men and women, while an hour of sedentary time decreased overall cardiorespiratory fitness.

In an interview with Cardiology Today, Jarett D. Berry, MD, MS, assistant professor of internal medicine and clinical science at UT Southwestern Medical Center, said, “We asked to what extent sitting could be associated with lower exercise capacity. If we think about the benefit of exercise, part of it is not only risk factor reduction, but also an improvement in our exercise capacity.”

Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2004, Berry and colleagues studied the activity levels of 2,223 participants aged 12 to 49 years (mean 22 years) who each wore an accelerometer for at least 1 day and self-reported their normal activity levels. Measurements of CV fitness indicators were taken, including BP, lipid profiles, blood glucose, smoking status and BMI. Cardiorespiratory fitness was determined using an exercise treadmill test and categorized as low, moderate or high.

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