American Heart Association: Doctors should monitor exercise habits


(CBS News) New evidence suggests that sitting four hours can be as unhealthy for people as smoking and that people need to focus on moving more over time.

The American Heart Association said that this finding doesn't just impact patients, but doctors as well.

"CBS This Morning" contributor and professor of medicine at the University of Southern California Dr. David Agus said that the American Heart Association recommends that every doctor keep an exercise log for their patients in the same way that they would keep track of blood pressure and cholesterol numbers.

Agus also said that people need to do more than go to the gym after work. People should be focused on moving all day. The current recommendation from the American Heart Association is moving 30 minutes over the entire day.

"Every half hour, just get up and walk for four or five minutes, get up and move - the more over time you move ,the better," Agus said on "CBS This Morning" Tuesday.

Agus suggested that little things like taking the stairs, walking more and taking the car less will help people improve their ability to increase their movement over the course of a day.

"Humans have evolved over millions of years and our lymphatics that control our immune system have no muscle in their walls, so it's the rhythmic contraction of the muscles in your leg when you walk that actually make your body work. We were designed to move. We were engineered so that movement would make our body work," Agus said.

While many people push themselves hard at the gym or run for hours at a time, Agus said that this type of exercise could prove to be less important than moving throughout the entire day.

"We weren't made for ultra-marathoning, but we are made to move," he said.

For Dr. David Agus' full interview, watch the video in the player above.