The more time you spend motionless, the more likely you will damage your heart muscle.
Those who sit for 9-10 hours per day (which is the majority of office workers) are at risk for diabetes and heart problems. And the risk is almost not reduced, even if you play sports. Scientists came to such conclusions.
Stillness has long been associated with heart failure. With this disease, the heart gradually weakens and cannot pump the necessary amount of blood. As a result, not enough oxygen enters the cells.
To understand how a sedentary lifestyle is associated with heart disease, cardiologists at the University of Texas Medical Center examined troponin proteins. This is a marker of myocardial damage: for example, a huge amount of troponins is released into the blood during a heart attack.
Even a slightly elevated level of these proteins is a concern for cardiologists if it does not go down for a long time. A chronically elevated level signals damage to the heart muscle. If you do nothing, heart failure may develop.
Scientists have analyzed the results of a large cardiological study. They examined cardiograms, blood tests, and physical activity trackers from over 1,700 healthy participants. Particular attention was paid to the level of troponins in the blood and the readings of activity trackers.
It turned out that many participants spend more than 10 hours sitting a day and rarely play sports. Basically, their physical activity is limited to walking. They also noted elevated levels of troponins. Of course, it was much lower than with a heart attack, but nevertheless, this signals hidden damage to the myocardium.
Researchers checked other factors that could affect troponin levels: age, gender, body mass index, and a heart condition. But the relationship with a fixed lifestyle was most pronounced.
Scientists can not yet explain how exactly a sedentary lifestyle harms the muscle cells of the heart. According to the head of the study, cardiologist James de Lemos, it affects the heart indirectly. “Stillness is associated with obesity, diabetes, and fat deposition on the heart. All of this can lead to damage to the heart muscle,” he says.
Moreover, it is important not only to sit less but also to move more. Although there was no significant effect of sports on troponins, de Lemos advised moving as much as possible. Get up and down the stairs, leave the car at the far edge of the parking lot, hold meetings while standing or in the motion.
A person who works in an office needs to: walk at least 2 hours a day; every hour during the working day, get up from the table and do a 3-5-minute warm-up (squats, rotation of the body, sipping); conduct cardio training (in the absence of contraindications) 3-4 times a week.
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