THURSDAY, July 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Here’s another reason to limit screen time and traffic: Increasing activity levels could reduce the risk of sleep apnea, according to a new study.
Compared to the more active people in the study, those who spent more than four hours a day sitting and watching television had a 78% higher risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and those with sedentary work had a 49% higher risk.
And this additional risk is not due to their weight.
“We saw a clear relationship between levels of physical activity, sedentary behavior and OSA risk. “People who followed the World Health Organization’s current physical activity guidelines of taking at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week and spending less than four hours a day sitting in front of a TV had a significantly lower risk of OSA,” said study leader Tianyi Huang. Professor and Associate Epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston.
People with this disorder stop and start breathing several times during sleep. Common symptoms include snoring, disturbed sleep, and excessive fatigue. Poorly managed sleep apnea can increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, irregular heartbeat and type 2 diabetes.
After calculating risk factors such as obesity, age, smoking and drinking, the researchers found that people whose activity levels were equivalent to three hours of work per week had a 54% lower risk of sleep apnea than those whose activity levels were equivalent to two hours a week walking at a moderate pace.
The study included more than 138,000 women and men in the United States without a diagnosis of sleep apnea. They followed for 10 to 18 years. Over time, more than 8,700 were diagnosed with the condition.
So are table riders doomed? Not necessarily.
The researchers said that people with sedentary jobs could reduce their risk by exercising more in their spare time. Also, those who cannot do much physical activity due to physical limitations could reduce their risk of sleep apnea by standing or doing other gentle activities more often.
The study was published on July 20 European breathing magazine.
“Importantly, we have seen that any additional increase in physical activity and / or a reduction in sedentary hours could have benefits that reduce the risk of developing OSA,” Huang explained in a press release.
The difference in risk between sedentary work and time spent watching television could be explained by other behaviors associated with these activities, the researchers suggested.
“For example, snacks and sugary drinks are more likely to go hand in hand with watching TV than sitting or working while sitting while traveling. This could lead to extra weight gain, which “We know it is an OSA risk factor,” Huang said.
It is estimated that 1 billion adults worldwide, aged 30 to 69, have mild to severe sleep apnea.
Anita Simonds, president of the European Respiratory Society, did not participate in the study, but commented on the report. He said: “It is encouraging that even a small increase in physical activity or a reduction in sedentary hours could have potential benefits. Therefore, it is an important message to communicate with our patients and families in primary care and respiratory clinics. . ”
The US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has more on sleep apnea.
SOURCE: European Respiratory Journal, news bulletin, July 20, 2021