Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States accounting for more than 380,000 deaths annually. Approximately 5,700,000 Americans currently suffer from congestive heart failure, half of which will die within the first five years of their diagnosis. Those are very sobering statistics by any standards however on the brighter side these risks could be reduced as much as 46% if Americans walked an hour more each day according to a recent study on heart health and exercise

 

The study followed 39,805 people aged 20-90 years old (not suffering from heart failure) beginning in 1997. Swedish researchers measured their total and leisure time activities and then assessed the overall relationship between their activity levels and risks of developing heart failure.

 

Their findings should encourage anyone to lace up the sneakers and go for a walk.

 

Walking Helps Reduce Risk of Heart Failure

 

The more active men and women who averaged at least an hour of moderate activity (such as walking) daily had a 46% lower risk of developing heart failure. The group with the highest risk factors were older, less educated males with high body mass index and waist to hip ratios along with poor health histories including heart attacks, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. It should be noted that each of the poor health outcomes listed above can be reduced significantly by a regular daily program of walking.

 

“This study is one of hundreds that proves the health benefits of walking and it’s impact on heart disease, many of which we report in our Research section,” stated Steve Bordley, CEO of TrekDesk Treadmill Desk. “Every major disease category affecting the developed world today is affected by sedentary habits and environments yet very little is being done to change this.”

 

Walking has been shown to lower the risks of not only heart disease but also stroke, cancers, diabetes and a host of obesity and inactivity related diseases yet Americans walk less today than just a few decades ago.

 

Walking has been shown to be more effective in preventing heart attacks than statins yet this preventative measure is rarely prescribed as heavily by physicians as are pharmaceutical remedies. Health initiatives such as the American College of Sport Medicine's "Exercise is Medicine" campaign are urging physicians to monitor activity and inactivity levels in their patients.

 

Inactivity has already been proven to be the single greatest risk factor for heart disease in women over 30 and there is little doubt that the same holds true in the male population as well. 

 

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