Keep Mental And Physical Load Light For Better Health

If you’re standing for a longer duration for any reason, you never realize how tired you are until you actually sit down. Similarly, the weight of a heavy object becomes more apparent after you have set it down. Human beings were biologically built for moderate to intense physical activity.

However, with various inventions increasingly available to make our jobs easier, the amount of physical activity we are used to has come down. As a result, any extreme physical activity could be detrimental to health. Women in physically demanding jobs, in particular, are at a disadvantage if they are prone to high blood pressure (BP), as a recent study has shown that they are at a greater risk of heart disease.

The study, conducted on 12,093 female nurses, involved collection of data on hypertension and physical activity over a 15-year follow-up period. The researchers classified physical activity into three categories: sedentary (19.3% of the nurses), moderate (mainly standing and walking; 34.4% of the nurses), and high (standing or walking combined with lifting or carrying; 46.3% of the nurses).

Comparisons were made between hypertensive nurses with high physical exertion and nurses with normal BP and moderate physical activity at work. The results demonstrated that around 12% of the nurses reported hypertension, and 580 nurses developed heart disease. Nurses with hypertension and high physical activity were at three times higher risk of developing heart disease, compared to nurses with normal BP and moderate activity.

The researchers believe that this increased risk may be attributed to the formation of plaques in patients with hypertension, coupled with the detrimental acute rise in BP that accompanies lifting or carrying heavy items.

Getting rid of physical and mental load is not only cathartic; it’s also healthy for the heart in the long run.

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