How Excessive Sitting May Damage Your Heart
It seems like every week there’s a new study being released about the health dangers of leading a sedentary lifestyle. The latest study, released in Circulation, shows an alarming connection between prolonged sitting and injury to the heart.
The researchers pulled data from an existing ongoing study called the Dallas Heart Study overseen by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. They looked at 1,700 of the study participants, excluding any who had heart disease or symptoms of heart failure, such as chest pain or shortness of breath. Specifically, researchers looked for participants levels of Troponins, or proteins produced by cardiac-muscle cells when they are hurt or dying.
Cardiologists believe even slightly elevated levels of troponins is harmful as it indicates that damage is being done to the heart, which may lead to eventual heart failure. Researchers found that study participants who sat for 10 hours or more a day had elevated levels of troponins. Levels that were high enough to constitute “subclinical cardiac injury,” according to the study’s authors.
Overall, sitting was more strongly associated with unhealthy troponin levels than exercise was with desirable amounts, even when other factors like age, gender, BMI and overall health were taken into consideration.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women with more than 1 in 4 deaths stemming from heart disease. Given that most of us work in an office setting that requires 8-10 hours at a desk, it’s downright scary seeing the clear correlation between prolonged sitting and heart injury.
When you incorporate movement int your work day, by sitting on a motion office chair, going for a walk every 30 minutes and keeping up with an exercise routing, you can effectively avoid many of the risks that come with our modern sedentary lifestyle. In fact researchers in this study showed that the people who moved the most tended to have lower amounts of troponin in their blood.