Your heart health is influenced by a wide variety of behaviors. A recent study shows a common behavior could be increasing your risk of developing heart disease.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, causing about 1 in 4 deaths. The term refers to several diseases that affect the heart, which can be influenced by a variety of things, from how much you work out, to the number of french fries you eat on a weekly basis. This one habit, that we might be guilty of doing depending on our professions, could also increase your odds of developing heart disease.
According to a 2018 study, spending large parts of your day standing up can double your risk of heart disease. We can’t win one, because sitting too much is also harmful for our heart health.
The study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, analyzed over 7,000 people over a period of 12 years. These people worked at least 15 hours a week and didn’t have heart disease at the start of the study. Results showed that participants who worked jobs that required them to stand were twice as likely to report heart disease than others who sat down during the duration of their work.
While we tend to associate standing up with movement and other positive things, researchers explained that standing for prolonged periods of time causes blood to pool in your legs. This can create pressure in the veins, elevating your risk of heart disease over time.
Surprisingly, in the long run, standing up over long periods of time is comparable to obesity and consuming nicotine on a daily basis. “Occupations that involve primarily standing represent an important, but often overlooked, cardiovascular risk factor,” researchers explained.
We often talk about the health problems associated with sitting over long periods of time, which are valid concerns. It seems like when it comes to our well-being, it’s important to lead a life with as much balance as possible. Ideally, workplaces should accommodate all sorts of people, encouraging behaviors that allow employees to be as healthy as they can be.