Irish Heart Foundation calls on the people of Offaly to escape their chair this September

The Irish Heart Foundation has today launched its month-long heart health campaign entitled, ‘Escape Your Chair’. The campaign, which aims to raise awareness of prolonged sitting as a risk factor for heart disease and stroke will be empowering and encouraging the public to move more and sit less throughout September for heart month, by providing tools and guides to get active.

An Ipsos MRBI Omnipoll revealed that people in Ireland spend on average 7.3 hours a day sitting down. Higher levels of sedentary behaviour are associated with a 147 per cent increase in the risk of heart disease and stroke[1]. There is increasing evidence that the positive health benefits of exercise may not entirely counteract the negative effects of a mostly sedentary lifestyle.

Irish Heart Foundation calls on the people of Offaly to escape their chair this September

Pictured at the launch of the Irish Heart Foundation’s September Heart Month campaign, Escape Your Chair is Dr Ciara Kelly, GP, Columnist and Newstalk Radio Broadcaster. The campaign, which aims to raise awareness of prolonged sitting as a risk factor for heart disease and stroke offers a range of resources to help people move more and sit less.

As part of its #EscapeYourChair heart month campaign, the Irish Heart Foundation has created a range of resources to help people sit less and move more. These include, an online sitting time calculator, a Deskercise video, a Move More Walking Challenge, a Couch to 5k guide, as well as expert tips and advice on how to increase physical activity levels. These are available at www.EscapeYourChair.ie.

On Saturday, September 28th, to help people ‘Escape Your Chair’, and support the work of the Irish Heart Foundation, the charity is calling on locals to walk, jog, or run in the Irish Heart Foundation Heart Hero 5K at parkrun events across Offaly in association with parkrun Ireland. The Irish Heart Foundation Heart Hero 5k can be completed in Offaly at:

  • Mountlucas parkrun, Mount Lucas Wind Farm, R400, Ballycon, Co. Offaly

Log on to www.EscapeYourChair.ie to learn more and get your free training plan.

Tara Curran, SlÍ na Sláinte Coordinator with the Irish Heart Foundation said: “80% of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable and as physical inactivity is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, we are encouraging the people of Offaly and nearby to make some small changes to incorporate more physical activity into their day.”

“It is recommended that we get 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity at least 5 days of the week, but this does not cancel out the damage caused to our health by sitting for long periods of time. According to the latest Irish Sports Monitor (2017), 13% of Irish adults are sedentary.”

“Small changes can go a long way to improve your heart health so check out ways to move more and sit less at www.EscapeYourChair.ie” she added.

About the Irish Heart Foundation
The Irish Heart Foundation is the national charity fighting heart disease and stroke through advocacy, research, prevention and care. For more information, visit www.irishheart.ie.

About Escape Your Chair
Escape Your Chair is a campaign developed by the Irish Heart Foundation which aims to raise awareness amongst people in Ireland of the health risks of sitting down for long periods of time. For more information, visit www.EscapeYourChair.ie

About the Heart Hero 5K
Walk, jog or run in our Heart Hero 5K in association with parkrun Ireland, taking place in 90 parkrun locations across Ireland on Saturday, September 28th 2019.

Become a Heart Hero – support the work of the Irish Heart Foundation by registering with a donation of €20 and we will send participants a t-shirt to wear during the Heart Hero 5K, as well as training plans, details on finding nearest parkrun location and how to register at parkrun.ie.

Omnipoll findings
Research commissioned by the Irish Heart Foundation and carried out by Ipsos MRBI found that:

  • 35% of people are unaware that time spent sitting is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke. In comparison, many risk factors had an awareness level of over 90%, e.g.:
    • High blood pressure – 96%
    • Smoking – 96%
    • High cholesterol – 95%
    • Stress – 94%
    • Family history – 92%
    • Alcohol – 91%
  • On average, people in Ireland report they spend 7.3 hours on a typical weekday sitting down. This breaks down into:
    • 2 hours spent seated while commuting to work, school or college
    • 6 hours spent seated while at work, school or college
    • 5 hours spent seated in leisure time
  • Students report they spend 8.9 hours sitting down every day and people aged 15-24 spend 8.4 hours a day sitting down

The research was carried out as part of an Ipsos MRBI Omnipoll with a representative sample of 1,000 adults aged 15+. Of the sample, 697 people who work and study were asked about their awareness of sitting and the time they spend sitting down. Fieldwork for the research was conducted from 16th to 31st July 2018.

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