Did you know, sitting for long hours at a stretch can give you high blood pressure and increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer? In fact, any extended sitting such as at a desk, behind a wheel, or in front of a screen can be harmful.
When we sit, we use less energy as compared to standing or moving. Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with several health concerns. They include obesity and a cluster of conditions -- high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. Prolonged periods of sitting also seem to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and Cancer.
Several studies done to understand the link between sitting time and health risk factors found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity, faced similar risks of dying as posed by obesity or smoking. Therefore, living a sedentary lifestyle can be dangerous to your health. The less sitting or lying down you do during the day, the better your chances for living a healthy life. We know that due to the pandemic, most people are confined to their homes and work-from-home has added up to more working hours, leading to long sitting hours in front of the screens. But the health impact it has is manifold.
How long sitting hours affect your body: Humans are built to stand upright. Our heart and cardiovascular system work more effectively that way. Our bowel function is also more efficient when we are upright. It is common for people who are bedridden in the hospital to experience problems with their bowel function, isn't it? Similarly, sitting for long or being inactive for prolonged hours can be very harmful to health.
Leg and gluteals (bum muscles): Sitting for long periods can lead to weakening and wasting away of the large leg and gluteal muscles. These large muscles are important for walking and for stabilizing us. If these muscles are weak, we are more likely to get injured from falls, and from exercises.
Metabolic problems leading to heart diseases and stroke: Moving the muscles helps our body digest the fats and sugars we eat. If we spend a lot of time sitting, digestion is not as efficient, so the body will retain those fats and sugars.
Hip and joint problems: Sitting causes our hip flexor muscles to shorten, which can lead to problems with hip joints. Sitting for long periods can also cause problems with the back, especially if one consistently sits with poor posture or doesn't use an ergonomically designed chair or workstation. Even if you exercise but end up spending a large amount of time sitting, you are still at risk of health problems such as Metabolic Syndrome.
Cancer: Emerging studies suggest that the dangers of sitting include increasing your chances of developing some types of Cancer, including lung, uterine, and colon cancers.
How to stay active and healthy during work time: Prolonged sitting as bad as smoking a daily cigarette pack a day. When you are active your levels and endurance improves, and your bones maintain strength. You might start by simply standing rather than sitting when you have the chance, or finding ways to walk while you work.
Every 30 minutes, take a break from sitting
Stand while talking on the phone or while watching television
If you work at a desk, try a standing desk or improvise with a high table or counter
Position your work surface above a treadmill with a computer screen and keyboard on a stand or a specialized treadmill-ready vertical desk, so that you can be in motion throughout the day
The impact of movement, even leisurely movement, can be profound. For starters, you will burn more calories. This might lead to weight loss and increased energy levels. Also, physical activity helps maintain muscle tone and leads us to overall mental well-being.
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London, July 21 (IANS) Testing people for heart-related issues may help to identify patients hospitalised with Covid-19 who face an especially high risk of dying, suggests a study.
Although SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, primarily affects the respiratory tract, it also leads to cardiovascular complications including severe arrhythmias, acute coronary syndromes, myocarditis and pulmonary embolism.
A team of researchers from the University of Salerno in Italy, examined 1,401 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 who were admitted.
About 226 (16.1 per cent) underwent transthoracic echocardiography within 48 hours of admission. In-hospital death occurred in 68 patients (30.1 per cent).
Low left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), low tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion, and acute respiratory distress syndrome were independently associated with in-hospital mortality.
"Clinical and echocardiographic parameters of disease severity might help to determine which patients with Covid-19 are at higher risk for in-hospital mortality," said lead author Angelo Silverio, at the University of Salerno.
The research was published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation.
The study suggests that early LVEF may be very useful to identify patients with higher probability of fatal outcome as cardiovascular complications can negatively impact on outcomes of patients with Covid.
A growing body of research suggests that some people with hypertension, diabetes and heart disease may develop more severe symptoms and complications once infected with coronavirus.
New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) With two more cases of dengue and chikungunya each reported in the last one week, the tally of vector-borne diseases reported in the national capital this year has gone up to 67.According to data shared by South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), which is the nodal agency in this regard, from January 1 to July 17 this year, 40 cases of dengue have been registered.Delhi has also reported 17 malaria and 10 chikungunya cases.According to the civic authority, Delhi, between January 1 to July 17 last year, had reported 32 cases of vector-borne diseases.A senior SDMC official told IANS that during an inspection in south Delhi area recently, a total of 334 breeding sites were detected.--IANSpd/vd
New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) Doctors at the Max Hospitals in Saket and Vaishali have successfully treated a critically ill, underweight, pre-term baby suffering from a condition known as PDA or Patent Ductus Arteriosus using a device called Piccolo.Nishu, born pre-maturely in Western UP, developed respiratory problems after birth. He was also diagnosed with PDA -- a common condition detected in new-borns.PDA causes a duct or an opening in a child's heart to stay open which otherwise would have closed within 3-7 days of the birth. This causes a backflow of blood from the heart to the lungs causing major complications due to the blood pooling in the lungs. If left untreated, PDAs are known to cause severe infections and impairs normal function of the lungs.After a series of referrals from different NICU centres across UP, Nishu was brought to the Max Hospital on the 17th day after his birth. Besides severe respiratory distress and congestive heart failure, he also had partially treated sepsis with meningitis.After initial stabilisation, the baby was given optimal respiratory support and appropriate antibiotics. The doctors planned for a device closure of PDA for which his parents were counselled."Post closure, the baby could finally take oral feed by day three of the procedure. Subsequent care was completed over the next few days and in follow-up consultations, the child has been doing increasingly well," Ramalingam Kalyan, Director and HoD, Paediatrics, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Vaishali, said in a statement.The Piccolo device is already being used the world over to treat PDA in pre-term and new-born babies since it is approved by the US FDA. In India, this has only been used as a life-saving measure in south India, but now with the advent of this technology in north India, there is hope for such babies to lead a better, healthier life, with quicker healing."PDA cases were until now being treated with medicine-based management, waiting for the child to grow up and gain weight and reach the age of three to six months so that they could go ahead with surgical intervention. However, this could also be fatal since, as the child grew, the lungs would open to their maximum capacity and also soften up causing the blood flow to the lungs to increase more leading to major complications," said Neeraj Awasthy, Principal Consultant & Incharge, Paediatric Cardiology, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket."With the use of Piccolo, it is now possible to treat even a pre-term who weighs as low as 700 grams. The device is inserted through the leg vein and the procedure takes just a few minutes. While the preparation of this procedure at our end is longer, the good news is that the recovery starts soon after," Awasthy added.--IANSrvt/arm
New York, July 15 (IANS) Heart problems in children, who were hospitalised with multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) -- an inflammatory condition triggered by Covid -- lasted just a few months and resolved rapidly, suggests a study.MIS-C is a rare condition that causes widespread inflammation throughout the body. Many children with MIS-C were asymptomatic or had mild Covid symptoms at first but weeks later developed a variety of nonrespiratory symptoms including abdominal pain, skin rashes, heart abnormalities, and, in some cases, extremely low blood pressure.However, these were mostly gone within a few months, revealed the study by researchers at Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian."We've learned that Covid causes a spectrum of illness in children. Some are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic and a small number of kids who develop MIS-C become critically ill, requiring admission to the ICU," said Kanwal M. Farooqi, Assistant Professor of pediatrics at Columbia's Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons."It is a relief that this study shows that most of the severe heart and immunologic manifestations we saw in kids with MIS-C resolved rapidly," Farooqi added.The small study, published in the journal Pediatrics, analysed about 45 MIS-C patients. Nearly 80 per cent of the children had some type of cardiac dysfunction, and almost half had moderate to severe cardiac abnormalities, including decreased ability of the heart to pump properly, coronary artery dilation, and leaking heart valves.Two-thirds of the children also experienced a temporary decrease in the number of white blood cells during their hospital stay. The majority had an increase in inflammatory markers, and more than half also had elevated cardiac-specific markers indicating heart injury.Most of the patients responded rapidly to steroids and other treatments and were discharged by about five days. The immunologic abnormalities and markers for heart injury returned to normal within a few weeks and by four months, most of the heart abnormalities had resolved, including all of the coronary artery abnormalities, Farooqi said."Nevertheless, given the absence of long-term data, we are recommending that children who had more than mild dysfunction on cardiac ultrasound should get a cardiac MRI at six months and see a pediatrician before being cleared for competitive sports," he noted.--IANSrvt/in
New York -The airway cells of patients with chronic lung diseases are "primed" for infection by the Covid-19 virus, resulting in more severe symptoms, poorer outcomes and a greater likelihood of death, according to a study.
The study, published in Nature Communications, found that chronic lung disease causes genetic changes in the molecular makeup of a variety of cells, including the epithelial cells that line the lung and airways.
The changes enable SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, to enter the body, replicate and trigger an out-of-control immune response that fills the lungs with fluids and often results in patients needing respirators and lengthy hospitalisations.
"Our results suggest that patients with chronic lung disease are molecularly primed to be more susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2," said Nicholas Banovich, Associate Professor at Translational Genomics Research Institute, a non-profit genomics research institute in Arizona, US.
In addition, older-age, male-gender, smoking, and comorbidities such as high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, are all Covid-19 risk factors that are exacerbated by chronic lung diseases, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Interstitial Lung Disease, and especially Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, a progressive scarring and stiffening of the lung tissue.
For the study, the team used single-cell RNA sequencing technology to spell out the genetic code of 611,398 cells from various databases, representing those with both healthy (control) lungs and those with chronic lung disease. Sequencing and analysis allowed researchers to identify molecular characteristics that may account for worse Covid-19 outcomes.
Researchers specifically searched for changes in AT2 cells -- a major lung epithelial cell type, focusing on cellular pathways and expression levels of genes associated with Covid-19. They established a "viral entry score," a composite of all genes associated with SARS-CoV-2, and found higher scores among cells from patients with chronic lung disease.
Further, exploring changes in immune cells, they discovered dysregulated gene expression associated with hyper-inflammation and with sustained cytokine production -- two signature symptoms of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. So-called cytokine storms in Covid-19 patients unleash a cascade of immune cells that flood the lungs, causing severe organ damage, the team explained. (Agency)