heart health
Source: Men's Health

Placing Exercise Bikes at Offices and Motivating Employees to Use them May Improve Heart Health

Physical exercises are a major step towards good heart health. It’s one of the most useful tools to strengthen the heart muscles and also keeps the weight under control. Scientists claim that putting exercise bikes in offices and advising employees to use them can protect them from the risk of heart diseases and diabetes.

A recent study claimed that exercising for only 8 minutes and 40 seconds every couple of days could improve heart health. According to the researchers, these short bursts of exercise reduce the risk of heart disease by 15 percent as well as reducing the risk of diabetes. These sessions improve the amount of oxygen people’s body can pump round in their blood and make them healthier and fitter as a result.

The researchers believe that by putting bikes in the office people will no longer have the excuse of not having the time or equipment to exercise daily. One of the participants of the study felt energized and another felt that the session made him get fitter. According to the researchers, the exercise is so easy that people can do it in their office clothes without worrying that they might get sweaty and that they might need a shower afterwards.

The University of Stirling in Scotland carried out the study in which they enrolled twenty-five office workers into a trial who were inactive at the time. They were divided into two groups of which twelve workers carried on life as usual. The sessions were conducted twice a week for 6 weeks and were performed on exercise bikes in offices. The program combined light pedaling with short busts of cycling for 20 seconds for as fast as possible.

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The researchers calculated the VO2 max of the workers which is the amount of oxygen the lungs and heart use when working at their hardest. VO2 max accurately measures the fitness of lung and heart which has a direct link with heart disease and other serious illnesses.

Dr. Niels Vollaard, who is a lead author of the study and also a part of the faculty of the University of Stirling, said that the study found that the general health of the participants of the research improved due to this routine. Plus, the VO2 max also increased by 10 percent compared with those twelve workers who continued with their usual life. It also reduced the risk of getting heart disease in later life by 15 percent.

According to Dr. Vollaard on the basis of previous research, the Reduced Exertion High-intensity Interval Training (REHIT) further improves VO2 max which reduces the risk of heart disease. He believes that the participants found the routine to be enjoyable, achievable, and acceptable.

The participants of the study which is published in the BMC Public Health Journal had different views on how it went. One said that if a person can’t do something for 10 minutes twice a week then there is something wrong, while others added that going as fast as you can for 10 seconds is manageable.

Dr. Vollaard believes that many people are at risk of diabetes and poor heart health because they just not exercise. And one of the most common reasons for not exercising is given by people that they don’t have time.

To stay healthy adults aged between 18 and 64 should do at least 150 minutes of cycling or brisk walking every week. Also, adults should avoid sitting for a long time by doing light activity.