Diabetes, Heart and Cardiovascular Diseases News Chronicle.  Diabetes, Cardiovascular and Heart Diseases
 Article 252
    Published on September 22, 2017

The relationship between occupational standing and congestive heart failure/heart attack

A study done by Canadian researchers shows an increased risk of heart diseases such as congestive heart failure or heart attack with a job involving standing most of the time compared with a job involving sitting most of the time.

Researchers came to above conclusion after conducting a study with 7,300 participants. Researchers accounted factors such as personal, work factors and health issues in concluding their study results. Investigators say their study results suggest that workplaces should prevent or modify prolonged standing jobs as those jobs effects heart health of an individual.

Researchers studied 7,300 workers, aged between 35 and 74 years, belonging to Ontario, Canada. They are without any type of heart diseases at the beginning of the study. Researchers followed them for 12 years. All the study participants were respondents to the 2003 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), which collected participant's information such as job title, personal factors, lifestyle, health conditions and work conditions.

Researchers used job title information in the CCHS survey records to estimate a participant's primary work as a sitting job, a walking job, a standing job, a combination of walking/standing/sitting job or other body posture such as kneeling or bending. Researchers have estimated that 9 percent of the participant's work was predominantly standing work and 37 percent of the participant's work was predominantly sitting work.

Researchers linked CCHS information to the health records of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), Toronto, Canada to identify new cases of heart disease between 2003 to 2015. The following table displays new heart diseases recorded among different groups after adjusting results with factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, health issues (such as diabetes, hypertension or blood pressure BP, disorders), work factors and lifestyle issues(such as tobacco usage, body mass index BMI , drinking, exercise).

Group New cases of heart diseases
Overall 3.4%
Men 4.6%
Women 2.1%
In people whose job was mostly standing 6.6%
In people whose job was mostly sitting 2.8%

Researchers say an individual likely to get the greatest risk reduction to heart diseases with a job involving sitting, standing and moving. Earlier studies suggested health risks to an individual with prolonged sitting jobs. The following table shows health risks as indicated by earlier studies with a job involving prolonged sitting and prolonged standing.

Association with
prolonged standing
Association with
prolonged sitting
Back pain   x
Colon cancer   x
Heart disease x x
Joint pain   x
Leg swelling x  
Lower back pain x x
Nocturnal leg cramps x  
Poor circulation x x
Risk of blood clots x  
Strained neck   x
Varicose veins x  

A relationship between occupational standing and congestive heart failure heart attack.

The leader of the investigation was Dr. Peter Smith, Senior Scientist, Institute for Work & Health (IWH), Toronto, Canada. The study results were published on August 11, 2017, in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Title of the article was "The Relationship Between Occupational Standing and Sitting and Incident Heart Disease Over a 12-Year Period in Ontario, Canada."

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Varicose veins : Enlarged and twisted veins (commonly on the legs) are called varicose veins.



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