Information for this post was found in an article from the New York Times. To read the article in its entirety, click here.
Plenty of research has been done in the past to explore men’s exercise habits, but until recently the amount of time the men spent inactive was left largely unexplored.
This new research, done by scientists from the University of South Carolina and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, shows that men who sit the most, face the greatest risk of heart problems. They found that men who spent 23 hours or more a week watching television or sitting in a car have a 64% higher chance of dying from heart disease than those who sat for 11 hours or less.
Surprisingly, many of the men who sat for long hours exercised regularly and led active lifestyles. This suggests that unfortunately, working out does not counteract with inactivity. As a consequence of inactivity for hours at a time, your body doesn’t experience “isometric contraction of the postural muscles.” This causes your muscles subtly change when they go unused for hours, which can increase your risk for heart disease and diabetes.
However, to begin to lower these risks, you should start looking for ways to decrease physical inactivity. Find different types of activity beyond just going for a jog or a structured exercise. Try simple things such as:
- Walk around while talking on the phone
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Do work around the house, instead of hiring someone else to do it for you
- When watching TV, sit up instead of laying down
- Do some work in the garden or mow your lawn
- Instead of asking someone to bring you a drink, go get it yourself
If you would like learn more about how to maintain a healthy heart or to talk with a physician about your potential heart risk factors visit Sherman’s Heart and Vascular Center.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user @XiXiDu