Sleep apnea, also termed Obstructive sleep apnea, is a condition or a sleep disorder that affects about 20 to 30 percent of adults in the United States. It is a condition in which an individual’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts. For example, if an individual snores loudly at night even if they already had a full night’s sleep, then they might have sleep apnea.
The condition involves repeated intermittent upper airway blockage at the time of sleep. This blockage halts airflow to the lungs and makes you more prone to many serious conditions comprising cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. It occurs when the throat muscles relax temporarily at the time of sleep and cause partial or full blockage of the airway.
Snoring is considered the vital sign of obstructive sleep apnea, and disturbed sleep patterns may lead to daytime sleepiness, mood swings, headaches, and high blood pressure, which are common adverse effects.
All About Sleep Apnea: Cutting TV Time And Increasing Physical Activity Can Reduce The Risk
In what way can exercise help?
As per previous research, low levels of physical activity raise sedentary behavior and can be linked with a higher risk of experiencing obstructive sleep apnea. In addition, many other conditions make you prone to OSA, including excess body fat, insulin resistance, chronic low-level inflammation, and fluid retention. Therefore, investigators did a new study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and Harvard Medical School, which explains ‘the possible role of leading a physical active lifestyle in reducing the occurrence of OSA.’ The outcomes of a study done by them were published in the European Respiratory Journal, and this study also attempted to clarify each factor’s effect on OSA risk.
The investigation and the result
Though out the investigation, the experts examined the data from over 137917 people enrolled. As per an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Tianyi Huang, these long and long-term studies offer a reliable source of health information as the participants are healthcare professionals themselves.
He added that ‘Obstructive Sleep apnea is highly underdiagnosed. ‘ He also said that healthcare professionals are more likely to identify and report symptoms of OSA.’
For the outcomes, the investigators noted the time participants spent on sitting and on physical activity. The physical activity time includes all activities like walking, moving, running, weightlifting, and lap swimming. After the study, the team concludes that less physically active people were more prone to obstructive sleep apnea.
People with more sedentary jobs are at a high risk of about 49 percent of OSA compared to the people with the least sedentary occupations. They noted that people who watched TV for more than four hours every day are 78 percent more prone to OSA in compared to people with the least sedentary lifestyles.
These studies confirm that maintain an active lifestyle and avoiding sedentary behavior make you less prone to obstructive sleep apnea. This, in turn, leads to fewer risks of developing many other serious health conditions like obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
However, it is impossible to know the separate cause and effect, so researchers could not clearly understand whether inactivity and TV watching promote the OSA. Though sitting for extended periods may be connected to obstructive sleep apnea. Huang alleged that ‘TV Watching is strongly connected with sleep apnea, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and type 2 diabetes.’ On the other hand, the chief medical officer for the American Lung Association,
Dr. Albert A. Rizzo though not involved in the study but said ‘this makes sense, to observe the link between sedentary behavior, TV watching and OSA. However, he remained unclear about the linkup as he thought it was an interesting way to examine, but according to him, it can occur in both ways.