A great deal has been written about the effect of smoking, stress, bad diet and other factors on heart health.These are all medical facts that cannot be disputed. What is often overlooked is the effect of simply sitting down on the heart. The more you sit, the less you move, and the less you move, the greater the risk to the heart. A sedentary lifestyle is a major contributor to cardiac problems. Even people who exercise regularly and then spend the rest of the day sitting are at risk of heart disease.
The New Smoking
The phrase “Sitting is the new smoking” may sound simplistic, but as extensive research shows, it is completely true. A recent study has found that:
- Those who sit for more than 13 hours a day have double the risk of cardiac problems than those who sat for less than 11 hours.
- Those who sat for less than 30 minutes at a time have half the risk of heart problems as those who sat for longer periods.
- Those who sat for over 90 minutes at a time had double the risk of heart problems than those who sat for a lesser time.
The Effect of Excessive Sitting
Excessive sitting causes several negative effects on the body in general and the heart in particular.
- Blood flow slows down,resulting in fatty deposits developing in the blood vessels that could restrict blood flow and cause heart disease.
- The more you sit, the less the fat in the food you eat is broken down. The less it is broken down, the more difficult it is for the body to use the fat, so it gets stored, which causes weight problems and increased strain on the heart.
- Spending long hours sitting makes the bones weaker, and this places your entire skeletal system under stress. Besides the direct issue of bone, joint, tendon, and ligament problems, the stress on the heart also increases.
- Excessive time sitting can lead to insulin resistance which could cause type 2 diabetes and obesity, both of which are major risk factors for heart disease.
- Being inactive for long periods causes the muscles to become weak,which means they are less effective in supporting other body systems and organs.
- Sitting for too long results in the reduction in the body’s ability to produce various chemicals that the brain needs to grow and to fight stress. Increased stress is a major factor in heart problems.
Finding the right balance between sitting and moving depends onseveral factors – age, weight, lifestyle, medical history, genetic factors, and more. The right way to protect your heart and prevent the development of cardiac issues is to consult a heart specialist in Pondicherry, or wherever you may live. A specialist will be able to examine you, evaluate your heart health and the risk factors that apply to you.The specialist will also prescribe the care, medication, exercise, lifestyle changes, etc., that may be required to keep you healthy and avoid cardiac problems. Those living in Tamil Nadu should go to the leading multispecialty hospital where they will find the best cardiologists in Pondicherry.