If you sit for long stretches of time, are you doomed to live a shorter life? Is a standing desk the answer? Find out the health effects of and solutions to over-sitting and over-standing.
The Pitfalls of Sitting
- Studies have found that long hours of sitting are linked to heart failure and disability risk, and shortens life expectancy.
- Research has shown that sitting all day reduces the breakdown of fat and increases fat retention.
The Pitfalls of Standing
- There may be negative health effects from sitting, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that standing is the solution and a standing desk is the answer.
- Standing has “side effects” and a variable height desk is not appropriate for everyone. Prolonged standing at work can actually be bad for your health.
- Per a 2005 study in Denmark, long bouts of standing can lead to a higher risk for being hospitalized for varicose veins in the legs (swollen, twisted, and enlarged veins and damaged valves).
When Standing May Not Be Healthier
It may be inappropriate for the following people to stand at their desks if they have:
When Standing May Not Work at Work
Sitting requires less energy (about 20% less) than standing and helps keep the body stable, so certain tasks are better performed while sitting down, such as those requiring: Continue reading “KRON 4 | How to Survive a Sedentary Job”
VIDEO: You may think you’re one of the lucky ones who can eat unlimited bags of chips and other troves of salt; and yet, it doesn’t affect your blood pressure. But according to research published in the American College of Cardiology, excess sodium can adversely affect other target organs even if you don’t have hypertension.
Studies show elevated sodium levels can cause the inner lining of blood vessels (called the endothelium) to “malfunction”. The following occurs as a result:
- Vessels stiffen. Arteries that become less elastic and lose their contractility (ability to fully contract and relax) make it harder for the heart to pump blood throughout the body. Eventually, the heart wears out (heart failure).
- Vessels become sticky. Think of the lining of your blood vessels as being slick like Teflon. An unhealthy endothelium is sticky like Velcro and causes plaque to attach. Plaque builds up in the brain too — leading to Alzheimer’s.
- The body breeds dangerous inflammation. Inflammation may cause plaque inside blood vessels to crack, rupture, and dislodge from arterial walls. The body responds like with any other injury by causing blood to clot. Clots clog up vessel freeways and block blood flow to the heart (heart attack) or brain (stroke). Inflammation is also the key reason behind why heart attacks are more likely to occur after getting the flu.
NOTE: Eating too much sugar can have the same effect on the endothelium as an excessive intake of sodium.
Research found that elevated sodium levels may increase the wall thickness of the heart’s main pumping chamber (left ventricle). This thickening can lead to cardiac issues, such as:
- Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm)
- Heart attack
- Sudden cardiac arrest (sudden loss of heart function)
- Heart failure (inability of the heart to pump enough blood throughout the body)
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for this muscle tissue enlargement, but it was also found in healthy people with NORMAL blood pressure who consumed high amounts of sodium.
Healthy kidneys remove extra fluid and waste from the blood. Studies found that a high Continue reading “KRON 4 | Salt Affects More Than Blood Pressure”
VIDEO: Did you know that winter is prime heart attack season and heart attacks are the No. 1 killer of women? February is American Heart Month and marks the time to raise awareness about heart disease and how you can prevent it. Over 600,000 Americans die of heart disease every year — that’s one in every four deaths. Weekend anchor Marty Gonzalez on “KRON 4 Morning News Weekend” and I cover a topic that EVERY woman needs to know. Please pass it on to your beloved females.
- Stay warm if you’re an older adult. Wear layers. The elderly are especially at risk because they have less body fat and a diminished ability to sense temperature. Wind, rain, and snow also steal body heat.
- Be wary of snow shoveling especially if you’re not a regular exerciser, have heart disease, or have a chronic medical condition. Snow can be HEAVY. Shoveling is a vigorous activity and can put strain on your heart.
- Cover your mouth and nose. Wearing a scarf allows the air to naturally get warmed before it enters your body, and thus, won’t be such a shock to your heart and lungs. (This is especially critical for the elderly, people with heart disease risk factors or have a cardiac history.)
- Drink water — not alcohol. Water is an insulator and retains body heat.
- Flu can cause inflammation of vital organs and result in multiple organ failure.
- Inflammation may cause the plaque inside blood vessels to crack, rupture, and dislodge which could result in a blockage within an artery.
- When you have the flu, the heart may need to work harder to pump blood through the lungs (which are inflamed from the infection), thus increasing the stress place on the heart.
- Myocarditis, the inflammation and destruction of the heart muscle tissue, can be caused by the flu and lead to rapid heart failure.
- A Circulation study showed that 43% of women do NOT experience acute chest pain at all during a heart attack which is a hallmark sign in men.
Major Symptoms in Women During a Heart Attack
Continue reading “KRON 4 | Why Heart Attacks are the #1 Killer of Women”
June is Men’s Health Month
VIDEO: Three men/boys kill themselves every hour of every day. Would you recognize the symptoms if your son, husband, father or friend is depressed? Men generally don’t show the “classic” signs of depression nor do they typically reach out for help or seek medical attention.
Even trained clinicians are less likely to correctly diagnose depression in men than in women. In this episode, I talk with Dr. Will Courtenay, “The Men’s Doc”, an internationally-recognized expert on men’s emotional health. We discuss the symptoms and causes leading up to depression in men, including postpartum depression in men. (Yes, really!)
It wasn’t that long ago that actor and comedian Robin Williams shocked the world by killing himself. Williams battled drug and alcohol abuse for decades and had open heart surgery in 2009. Heart patients often experience anxiety after their cardiac event.
This episode also includes a three-minute segment on “Pet Health”. Pets often help alleviate depression. Find out how to care for your senior pet with San Ramon veterinarian Dr. Glen Weber.
May is National Stroke Awareness Month
Migraines and Strokes
VIDEO: Studies reveal a definitive link between people who get migraines and strokes. Host Karen Owoc, The Health Reporter, delivers a quick dose of health news in The Health Reporter Minute.