Leila Luqman, a 19-year-old student, walks along the Corniche to stay healthy. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
Leila Luqman, a 19-year-old student, walks along the Corniche to stay healthy. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Prolonged sitting can increase risk cardiovascular disease, UAE experts say

ABU DHABI // Sitting for long hours in front of your computer is putting you at risk of cardiovascular disease and death, according to health experts.

Even if you hit the gym before or after work, you cannot undo the effects of sitting all day.

“Nobody is protected against sitting. People who are not sitting a lot are better off than those who don’t walk much through the day,” said Dr Corina Weber, internal medicine specialist at Brightpoint Royal Women’s Hospital, Abu Dhabi.

“The best would be to move about at work and also outside work. Sitting increases mortality risk despite exercise. With moderate physical activity and a sedentary job, your risk will increase. Have an active lifestyle throughout the day. We are not born like plants, but like animals, and we should move.”

In January, the medical journal, Annals of Internal Medicine published a study called Sedentary Time and its Association With Risk for Disease Incidence, Mortality and Hospitalisation in Adults, which suggested a high correlation between sitting still and risk of disease.

Nadine Aoun, a dietician at Medcare Hospital in Dubai, said: “Having a sedentary life increases risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. The person’s metabolism also goes down. The person feels hungry and tends to snack more. They tend to eat whatever is easily available, mostly unhealthy, and thus high blood sugar is another risk. I ask patients to work out and be active.

“People are not aware of the impact of a sedentary life on their health.”

She said people should take a break every 30 minutes. “I tell them to take a walk every half hour or do squats, or walk to get a glass of water,” she said.

Taking 10,000 steps each day is a reasonable goal, said Roisin Thomas, an instructor at Haddins Gym, Abu Dhabi. “Use every opportunity to walk. Don’t think about it just in terms of burning calories, but overall health.”

On Abu Dhabi’s Corniche yesterday, people were out keeping fit. Rocky Johnson, 61, a school adviser from the United States, had taken up The National’s Start Walking challenge and equipped himself with a clip-on Fitbit. He has been taking an average of 15,000 steps every day.

“I watch my diet and try to exercise. There are many factors that motivate me, including the fact that I want to lose weight and strengthen my heart and lungs,” he said.

Bashayer Abdullah, 19, an Emirati student, said: “I try to do small things to keep active; try to limit eating junk food. I do squats or jog on the spot.”

Leila Luqman, a 19-year-old student, said: “I do try to walk around, although not as much as I would like to and when I go to the gym I usually hit the treadmill.”


Our Time Has Come
Alyssa Ayres, Oxford University Press


Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates


Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

FA Cup semi-finals

Saturday: Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, 8.15pm (UAE)
Sunday: Chelsea v Southampton, 6pm (UAE)

Matches on Bein Sports


Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Match info:

Burnley 0

Manchester United 2
Lukaku (22', 44')

Red card: Marcus Rashford (Man United)

Man of the match: Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

Tell-tale signs of burnout

- loss of confidence and appetite

- irritability and emotional outbursts

- sadness

- persistent physical ailments such as headaches, frequent infections and fatigue

- substance abuse, such as smoking or drinking more

- impaired judgement

- excessive and continuous worrying

- irregular sleep patterns


Tips to help overcome burnout

Acknowledge how you are feeling by listening to your warning signs. Set boundaries and learn to say ‘no’

Do activities that you want to do as well as things you have to do

Undertake at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. It releases an abundance of feel-good hormones

Find your form of relaxation and make time for it each day e.g. soothing music, reading or mindful meditation

Sleep and wake at the same time every day, even if your sleep pattern was disrupted. Without enough sleep condition such as stress, anxiety and depression can thrive.

THE BIO: Martin Van Almsick

Hometown: Cologne, Germany

Family: Wife Hanan Ahmed and their three children, Marrah (23), Tibijan (19), Amon (13)

Favourite dessert: Umm Ali with dark camel milk chocolate flakes

Favourite hobby: Football

Breakfast routine: a tall glass of camel milk


Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.