BEIJING: Study says sitting for over 8 hours in office increases heart disease risk (and simple tips to reverse the harm done by extended sitting)

BEIJING: Study says sitting for over 8 hours in office increases heart disease risk (and simple tips to reverse the harm done by extended sitting)

BEIJING: A study by the researchers have found that people who work in an office are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases. It might also increase the chances of getting a stroke or a heart attack.
Medical professionals have been warning people about the dangers of living an unhealthy lifestyle and its effects on human organs for a long time now.

According to a study conducted by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, employees who sit at their desks for eight hours a day are 20% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
Over the course of 11 years, researchers examined the records of 105,677 people from 21 countries. Over 6,200 people died by the end of the study. There were 2,300 heart attacks, 3,000 strokes, and 700 cases of heart failure.

The researchers have explained that reducing the time an employee spends at the desk and increasing physical activity could achieve benefits similar to curbing smoking. Studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time coupled with a lack of physical activity caused 8.8% of fatalities and 5.8% of instances of heart disease. Doctors have thus recommended people to take regular breaks in between work.

Prevalence of heart diseases in India
Heart diseases are like silent epidemics and have been the leading cause of death in India. According to public health estimates, India accounts for roughly 60% of the world’s heart disease burden, despite having less than 20% of the world’s population. The most prevalent conditions in India include ischemic heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease.

Other health issues caused by long sitting hours
Sitting for longer hours also affects the posture, mental health, and stress levels of an individual. Other health hazards like obesity, hypertension, diabetes, raised cholesterol and osteoarthritis are also some of the common health issues that are caused by long desk jobs. All of which can contribute and lead to heart failure.

Tips to get rid of desk job related health problems
1.Keep changing your position almost every other hour. For example, choose to stand while using the phone.

2.Performing simple stretches, walking within the office during the breaks can aid in preventing health problems.

3. Placement of the computer screen and mouse in respect to the height of the employee helps prevent slouching and correcting the posture.

4.Move as much as possible. Skip the elevators and use stairs.

5.Place a small stool below the feet while working to make sure that legs are supported with the hips and that Knees and ankles are at 90 degrees.

Simple stretches for desk workers
Sitting at the desk can create tension in body areas causing excessive pain making one feel tired and stick to bed. Here are a few stretches that one can do in the office to keep themselves away from such pain. This will also cause movements that might help reduce the risk of heart problems.

1. Chest stretches
All you need to do is take and straighten your arms behind you, lift your hands a few inches until you feel a stretch in the chest. Hold the position for at least 10 seconds.

2. Shoulder shrug
To do this, lift your shoulders up, hold for a few seconds and bring them back down. Repeat the same for 4-5 times. One can also roll the shoulders forward and backward to release tension created in them.

3. Spinal Twist
Twist the torso towards the right and then to the left. One can use their hands on the armrest or the seat to do the stretch properly.

4. Torso Stretch
Lace the fingers together and stretch your arms towards the ceiling. Take a deep breath while you do so and bring the arms down and exhale.

5. Neck stretch

This can be done in both standing and sitting position, one just needs to tilt the head to the left and then to the right. One can grab the side of a chair and then do the same to feel a better stretch in the shoulder and neck area.

  1. Forearm stretch

Stretch the right arm forward and turn the hand down and try pulling the fingers with the other hand towards you. Repeat the same with the other side.

  1. Seated hip stretch

Place your right ankle over the left knee and sit straight. Now, slowly lean forward with the back straight and going forward with the torso unless you feel a stretch in your right hip and glute. Repeat the same with the other side

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