Working Long Hours May Expose Individuals to Risk of Irregular Heartbeats: A Healthy Diet and Small Breaks May Help

Experts note that those who work for over 55 hours in a week are about 40% more likely to develop atrial fibrillation in the next decade or so.

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Working Long Hours May Expose Individuals to Risk of Irregular Heartbeats: A Healthy Diet and Small Breaks May Help
Prolonged sitting and long working hours have long been linked to triggering a range of ailments. One of the previously conducted studies note that making up for the prolonged state of inactivity - by exercising - may not help outdo the damage. Experts at the University College London (UK), have now linked long working hours with inducing irregular heartbeats. Cardiac arrhythmia is a condition wherein the heartbeat of a person missed the rhythmic pattern; it is often seen as one of the early symptoms of developing heart ailments.

Experts note that those who work for over 55 hours in a week are about 40% more likely to develop atrial fibrillation in the next decade or so. The condition is also known to trigger cardiovascular events like stroke and heart failure. Close to 85,000 men were investigated in the study to reveal that, "nine out of ten of the atrial fibrillation cases occurred in people who were free of pre-existing or concurrent cardiovascular disease," noted the experts. It was therefore concluded that one of biggest perpetrators of cardiac events in the given set of participants were long work hours over any pre-existing or concurrent cardiovascular disease. Experts called for further investigation and research into the topic.

"A 40 per cent increased extra risk is an important hazard for people who already have a high overall risk of cardiovascular disease due to other risk factors such as older age, male sex, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight, smoking and physical inactivity, or living with an established cardiovascular disease," Professor Mika Kivimaki, from the University College London was quoted by PTI. The absolute increased risk of atrial fibrillation associated with long working hours was found to be small for young healthy individuals with few of any of these risk factors.

Tips to battle prolonged sitting at work

- Take frequent breaks, every 20 minutes or so. Take a stroll or walk up to a colleague instead of calling them on desk phone.

- Use stairs over elevators.

- Break into a stretch while sitting at your workstation.

- Rotate your neck; monitor your posture while sitting.

Foods for a healthy heart

"Oatmeal is full of heart-healthy folate and potassium. This fibre-rich superfood can help lower levels of 'unhealthy' cholesterol and keep arteries clear," as mentioned in Dorling Kidersley's Healing Foods. Apples, cranberries, blueberries, yogurt, lemon and foods rich in omega 3 are also excellent for your heart. Regular exercising will stave off risks of any heart related ailment.

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