Researchers Report Sitting Less and Moving More Will Help Reduce Heart Failure Risk

After analysing data that dates back to 8 years of more than 84,000 men, US researchers concluded that risks of heart failure is not necessarily just linked to walking more alone but it is also linked to spending more time sitting.

A senior scientist from Kaiser Permanente, Pasadena, CA, Dr. Deborah Rohm Young reported his findings in a journal called ‘Circulation: Heart Failure’ which stated that even men who exercised regularly, increased their heart risks by sitting for long durations of time. Dr Young stated that the important finding here is the one line defining the connection between the sitting time and the heart failure risk, “Be more active and sit less. That’s the message here”.

Heart failure is caused when the heart is not able to pump the required amount of blood and oxygen to the rest of the body. This, in no way, means that the heart’s beats have stopped but it is surely a dangerous condition.

As per the US CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) reports, more than 5 million citizens of the US are affected by heart failure. This causes one in 9 deaths and costs the country to the tune of $32 billion each year.

Dr Young and his colleagues analysed data for their (California Men’s Health Study) study that was on a group which included all races of people who were included in 84,170 men.  

All the participants were in the age group of 45 to 69 years, and had no history of heart failure when they signed up for the study.

There was an average follow up of 3473 participating men diagnosed with heart failure in an average of 8 years. In order to analyse the amount of physical activity, the researchers made use of the METs, a form of measurement of the use of body energy during the sedimentary time. This was measured in units of hours.

When the data was analysed, it was found that:

  1. Regardless of sedentary time, men who had the lowest of physical activity had 52% higher chances of developing heart failure in comparison with men who had the highest amounts of activity.
  2. Independent of the amount of exercise done, men who went through 5 hours of sedentary or more, without work were about 34% more likely to face heart failures.
  3. Men who had spent 5 hours or more in a day sitting outside of work and had very little exercise are faced with double the risk of experiencing heart failures when compared to men who sat for 2 hours or less and exercised regularly.

Dr Young recommends 150 minutes of exercise a week to help reduce the risk.

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