Sitting for prolonged periods of time can be unhealthy, according to a new study. One of the major finds of the new study is that the more people sit still, then the greater the chances of injuring their heart is. A sedentary lifestyle will significantly increase the risk of developing diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. This much is known, but the cause of it has eluded medical researchers for long periods of time.
Medical researchers have now focused on troponins which are proteins created by heart muscles. They are formed when a heart muscle is injured or dying. High levels of troponins are an indication of poor heart health and heart damage. Heart attacks also cause an extremely high level of troponins to enter the bloodstream.
Doctors believe that a higher than average level of troponins can cause heart damage and lead to heart disease. In the worst case, elevated levels of troponins can result in heart failure which can result in death. It is widely believed that chronically high levels of troponins are a symptom of heart problems and damage.
The new study aimed to look at possible causes of increased troponin levels. Researchers studied three groups of people. One group was sedentary and rarely exercised. This group sat for up to 10 or more hours a day. Not surprisingly, this group was the group that showed an elevated level of troponins. The high levels of troponins can be indicative of heart damage according to researchers.
A second group also sat for many hours during a day. This group did do some moderate exercise such as walking, however. The effect of the exercise seemed to reduce troponin levels to normal. This was true even if the exercise was very brisk. Researchers also found that an increased level of activity seemed to correlate with a decreased level of sedentariness.
The third group studied by the researchers performed moderate to heavy exercise on a regular basis. This group had the lowest troponin level of the three groups studied. The lower levels of troponin were very small between group 2 & 3 though. This shows that even a small amount of exercise can go a very long way in reducing troponin levels.
It is important to note that this study does not prove that sitting for a long period of time will raise your troponin levels and cause damage to your heart. Rather it proves that a sedentary lifestyle is associated with high levels of troponins. This is indicative of poor heart health and heart damage. More research is needed to find out exactly what causes troponin levels to rise or fall in people.