Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Longer sitting hours ups heart attack risk
New York : Spending too much time sitting is bad for your heart as researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have found that sedentary behaviour is associated with increased amounts of calcium deposits in the heart's arteries, which in turn is linked to a higher risk of heart attack.
 
"This is one of the first studies to show that sitting time is associated with early markers of atherosclerosis buildup in the heart," said senior study author Amit Khera, associate professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre. 
 
"Each additional hour of daily sedentary time is associated with a 12 percent higher likelihood of coronary artery calcification," Khera noted.
 
In the study published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology, the researchers concluded that reducing daily "sitting time" by even one to two hours per day could have a significant and positive impact on future cardiovascular health.
 
For many individuals with a desk job that requires them to sit for large portions of the day, they suggested taking frequent breaks.
 
In this study, the researchers asked some 2,000 participants to wear a device that measured their activity levels for a week. 
 
Participants spent an average of 5.1 hours sitting per day and an average of 29 minutes in moderate to vigorous physical activity each day.
 
"We observed a significant association between increased sedentary time and coronary artery calcium," Khera said.
 
"These associations were independent of exercise, traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and socioeconomic factors,” Khera noted.
 
This research suggests that increased subclinical atherosclerosis characterized by calcium deposition is one of the mechanisms through which sedentary behavior increases cardiovascular risk and that this risk is distinct from the protective power of exercise," he explained.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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One minute of intense exercise can keep you in shape
Toronto : You may now have no excuse not to exercise as researchers have found that a single minute of very intense exercise produces health benefits similar to 45 minutes of traditional endurance training.
 
The findings put to rest the common excuse for not getting in shape -- there is not enough time.
 
"This is a very time-efficient workout strategy," said lead author on the study Martin Gibala, professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. 
 
"Brief bursts of intense exercise are remarkably effective," Gibala said.
 
The scientists set out to determine how sprint interval training (SIT) compared to moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT), as recommended in public health guidelines. 
 
They examined key health indicators including cardiorespiratory fitness and insulin sensitivity, a measure of how the body regulates blood sugar.
 
A total of 27 sedentary men were recruited and assigned to perform three weekly sessions of either intense or moderate training for 12 weeks, or to a control group that did not exercise.
 
The SIT protocol involved three 20-second 'all-out' cycle sprints and was found effective for boosting fitness. 
 
The workout totalled just 10 minutes, including a two-minute warm-up and three-minute cool down, and two minutes of easy cycling for recovery between the hard sprints.
 
The new study compared the SIT protocol with a group who performed 45 minutes of continuous cycling at a moderate pace, plus the same warm-up and cool down. 
 
After 12 weeks of training, the results were remarkably similar, showed the findings published online in the journal PLOS ONE.
 
"Most people cite 'lack of time' as the main reason for not being active," Gibala said.
 
"Our study shows that an interval-based approach can be more efficient -- you can get health and fitness benefits comparable to the traditional approach, in less time," Gibala said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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'Banking loopholes being studied to curb money laundering'
New Delhi : The government has asked its agencies dealing with economic offences to study the loopholes in the country's banking laws to prevent ill-gotten money from leaving the country's shores and facilitate the return of black money stashed away abroad, well informed sources said.
 
With the quantum of black money held by Indians abroad variously estimated at between $466 billion and $1.4 trillion, the idea is to get a fix on how the network operates so that the government is able to crack the nexus and deliver on its promise of getting back such ill-gotten assets.
 
"Pervading secrecy, cut-throat competition among private and international banks, along with the organised crime models, have all resulted in giving a boost to money laundering both in India and abroad," said a government source, requesting anonymity.
 
"There is also competition. A large number of foreign and private banks operate in secrecy. Then in jurisdictions like Switzerland and Cyprus, dirty money is often pumped in their financial system via organised channels -- or even wire-transferred now," the source told IANS.
 
"What we also understand is that multiple layers of secrecy in the system helps clients to mask their accounts and transactions. So directives have been issued by the home ministry and the finance ministry to various agencies to study how the system is aiding such offences."
 
Among the agencies roped in are the Enforcement Directorate, Serious Fraud Investigation Office, and the related wings of customs and the Reserve Bank of India. Also being studied is: To what extent the secrecy in the banking system is contributing to money laundering, sources said.
 
Sources explained that such an exercise also became necessary after preliminary reports from the agencies and departments under the finance ministry reported that private banks in large numbers failed to present case studies by themselves about the modus operandi.
 
"Privacy is at the core of the functioning of private banks. So the government is left with few options when it wants to crack down on leads -- also because money laundering involves multiple transactions to disguise the source of funds," said the source.
 
Officials said a comprehensive study can also help in understanding how the flow of such money can be curbed, while also equipping banks to themselves have strong anti-money laundering rules for clients, backed by law.
 
During the latest US visit of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, coordination and cooperation among various countries to curb money laundering was at the core of his itinerary. Even at the special session of the US on drugs, he dwelt on the nexus between illicit money, drugs and terrorism.
 
India also wants to give inputs to the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development to be able to come up with objective criteria soon to identify jurisdictions that did not cooperate towards a transparent financial system. "Defensive" steps are being considered against them.
 
The move also comes against the backdrop of the recent global expose of International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and over 100 global media organisations on off-shore funds of some powerful people globally, based on millions of leaked documents of a Panama law firm.
 
The team of officers from the Central Board of Direct Taxes' Financial Intelligence Unit, the board's Tax Research Unit, and the Reserve Bank of India, is probing the expose about the "Panama Papers" .
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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