Sedentary Behavior, Exercise, and Cardiovascular Health

Circ Res. 2019 Mar;124(5):799-815. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.118.312669.


Sedentary behavior and physical inactivity are among the leading modifiable risk factors worldwide for cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality. The promotion of physical activity and exercise training (ET) leading to improved levels of cardiorespiratory fitness is needed in all age groups, race, and ethnicities and both sexes to prevent many chronic diseases, especially cardiovascular disease. In this state-of-the-art review, we discuss the negative impact of sedentary behavior and physical inactivity, as well as the beneficial effects of physical activity /ET and cardiorespiratory fitness for the prevention of chronic noncommunicable diseases, including cardiovascular disease. We review the prognostic utility of cardiorespiratory fitness compared with obesity and the metabolic syndrome, as well as the increase of physical activity /ET for patients with heart failure as a therapeutic strategy, and ET dosing. Greater efforts at preventing sedentary behavior and physical inactivity while promoting physical activity, ET, and cardiorespiratory fitness are needed throughout the healthcare system worldwide and particularly in the United States in which the burden of cardiometabolic diseases remains extremely high.

Keywords: cardiorespiratory fitness; cardiovascular disease; exercise; heart failure; sedentary behavior.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiorespiratory Fitness*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Healthy Lifestyle
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Protective Factors
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Time Factors