A sedentary lifestyle can make a lot of problems to a person. People do not even know about some of them. You, probably, noticed that the lack of physical activity affects your mood and overall well-being extremely negatively. Furthermore, physical activity can constructively affect the state of the brain, stimulating the formation of new cells and causing other changes. However, new studies show that immobility can also cause changes in the brain - there is a deformation of individual neurons, and this can affect the heart not very well.
The results of the experiment, published in The Journal of Comparative Neurology, show that the lack of physical activity deforms neurons in that part of the brain that is responsible for the sympathetic nervous system. It, among other things, controls blood pressure, changing the degree of narrowing of blood vessels. Even 20 years ago, most scientists believed that the structure of the brain is finally fixed with the onset of adulthood. However, recent neurological studies have shown that the brain retains plasticity throughout our lives. Experts say that physical exercises are especially effective for the development of the brain.
The more time you spend sitting, the higher your possibility to damage the heart muscle is. Those who are sitting for 9-10 hours during the day (and this is the majority of office workers), have a big risk of getting diabetes and heart problems. In this case, the risk is almost not reduced, even if they are engaged in sports. Scientists came to such disappointing conclusions.
A sedentary lifestyle has been associated with heart failure for long. With this disease, the heart gradually weakens and can not pump the required amount of blood. As a result, the cells do not receive enough oxygen. To understand how a sedentary lifestyle is associated with heart disease, cardiologists from the University of Texas Medical Center examined such protein as troponin.
This is a marker of myocardial damage: for example, a lot of troponins are released into the blood during a heart attack. Even a slightly elevated level of these proteins causes can frighten cardiologists, especially if it does not decrease. A chronically elevated level signals about damage to the heart muscle. If nothing is done, heart failure may develop.
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Chronic heart failure seriously reduces the quality of life (people have shortness of breath and edema on their feet) and life expectancy. Without eliminating the causes that lead to CHF, the outcome is almost always predetermined - a sudden death.
Researchers analyzed the results of a large cardiac study. They examined cardiograms, blood tests and data from physical activity trackers of over 1,700 healthy participants. Particular attention was paid to the level of troponins in the blood and indications of activity trackers.
It turned out that many participants spend more than 10 hours a day sitting and rarely do sports. Basically, their physical activity is limited to walking. They also noted an elevated level of troponins. Of course, it was much lower than with a heart attack, but nevertheless it signals of latent damage to the myocardium.
The researchers also tested other factors that could affect the level of troponins: age, sex, body mass index and heart condition. However, the interrelation with the sedentary lifestyle was the strongest. All the systems of the body are imprisoned for motor activity, our ancestors did not sit in the office, but ran after the prey or with the goal of not becoming a prey. Therefore, sedentary work is a serious risk factor for heart disease and, as a consequence, chronic heart failure.
Scientists can not explain how the sedentary lifestyle harms the muscle cells of the heart yet. According to the head of the study, cardiologist James de Lemos, it affects the heart indirectly. Immobility is associated with obesity, diabetes and fat deposition on the heart. All this can lead to damage to the heart muscle sooner or later.
It is very important not only to sit less, but also to move more. Although there is no significant effect of sports on the level of troponins, de Lemos advises to move as much as possible. Go up and down the stairs every day, leave the car at the far end of the parking place, hold meetings standing or on the move.
A person who works in an office needs to walk at least 2 hours a day; to get up from the table and to do a 3-5-minute warm-up (squats, body rotation, pull-ups) every hour during the working day; to perform cardio exercises (in the absence of contraindications) 3-4 times a week.
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