February is Heart Month*
Recently a group of cardiologists set out to investigate why extended sitting leads to increases in heart attacks. Researchers reviewed extensive data from the Dallas Heart Study, which has followed several thousand men and women since 1989. What they found has implications for all of us.
The data indicated that the more time individuals spent sitting, the higher their troponin levels. Troponin is a protein found in the blood when the heart muscle has been damaged.
Those who sat the most and moved the least had levels that characterized “subclinical cardiac injury”. More study is needed to identify the exact relationship, but initial results indicate that the more study participants moved, the more their troponin levels approached normal. Conversely,sitting to get work done for 8 to 10 hours on most days appears to weaken the heart. When you count time spent sitting while commuting and during leisure activities, most American workers sit longer than the time needed to endanger their hearts.
Sit Tech to the Rescue
More and more studies document that moving is good while static postures such as sitting or standing are hazardous to our health. So our valentine to you says, “Let’s move it!”
- Place your waste basket as far as possible from your work station so that you must stand up and walk a step or two to dispose of trash. (Rolling over to the container in your chair doesn’t count!)
- Find a partner to walk with you at lunch. (You’re not still eating lunch at your desk, right?)
- Fidget or pace when no one is looking.
- Roll your shoulders or tap your feet while reading e-mail. Eye rolls are optional.
- Use a rest room on another floor, and take the stairs to get there.
- Practice balancing on one foot while talking on the phone.
- Take a stretch break at least once an hour.
Please share your personal strategies for moving more during the day. Contact Us Together we can fight static posture!
See you next month with another tip for using posture, movement, and the power of conscious habits to improve your health and your life.
In the meantime, please feel free to visit our website for more articles from various sources and an archive of our past tips.
* Always listen to your body. – If it hurts, don’t do it! – Consult with a health professional about performing any activities mentioned in these tips. Sit Tech does not offer medical advice and is not responsible for use of its tips.