Sitting can increase the risk of heart attack by 50%.

Routine work in the chair in connection with a sedentary life is a health risk. (Photo: Unsplash)

It is not news that a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. With the coronavirus pandemic and the shift from work to the home office, it has become even harder to have a training routine. However, a Chinese study warns that people who sit for more than eight hours a day are 50% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

The work, published in the journal JAMA Cardiology, followed more than 100,000 adults for 10 years. The thousands of participants, who live in more than 20 countries around the world, were on average 50 years old and were asked how many hours a day they spent sitting each week.

Based on their responses, they were divided into different groups. After 11 years, the results were alarming: there were just over 6,200 deaths, 2,300 heart attacks, 3,000 strokes and 700 cases of heart failure, although not all were fatal.

The results revealed that people who sat for eight hours a day had a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke and were 49% more likely to have heart failure, compared to those who sat for only four hours a day.

The study also showed that regular exercise during the week reduces the dangers of sitting too much. Those who did about 12.5 hours a week of physical activity had a 17% risk of dying. While for those who practically only had two and a half hours of activity, the risk was 50%.

The authors also compared the results of the study with smoking. The figures found in the two studies are similar. While 8.8% of deaths and 5.8% of heart disease cases were due to the combined effect of sitting excessively and being physically inactive, smoking causes 10.6% of deaths and 6.6% of heart disease.

Lead author Wei Li said the results should make people sit smaller and be more active. UK charities and experts recommend that workers take some breaks during working hours to exercise, such as short walks, and have asked employers to provide standing desks.

The UK Health Service, NHS, states that adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week, such as brisk walking, or 75 minutes of intense-intensity activity per week, such as running. They should also do muscle strengthening exercises at least two days a week.

“This study adds to what we already know about activity and our health, and shows that sitting for more than eight hours a day poses an increased risk of stroke. A great way to improve your cardiovascular health is to get 150 minutes. physical activity per week, which is only half an hour in five days, says Chloe MacArthur from the British Heart Foundation to the Daily Mail.

Cardiovascular diseases

In Brazil, this type of disease is a leader in mortality in Brazil. According to the Brazilian Society of Cardiology (SBC), about 14 million Brazilians have some form of heart disease, and 400,000 die each year as a result of this disease.

In the UK, around 160,000 people, or a quarter of all deaths in the country, are from heart attack – equivalent to one death every three minutes.

In the United States, the disease is also a leader in mortality, killing about 670,000 Americans a year.