News - August 11, 2011

Cycling and exercise good for the heart; lack of sleep is bad

People who cycle and exercise regularly have less chances of getting heart and vascular diseases, whereas a lack of sleep raises such chances. This is reported in two publications: from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), and Wageningen University.

PhD candidate Marieke Hoevenaar-Blom questioned 7451 men and 8991 women between the ages of 20 and 65 on the types of physical exercises they did. She placed such information against instances of heart and vascular diseases in this group over a period of ten years. The results show that half an hour of cycling per week lowered the probability of getting heart and vascular diseases by 18 percent, while half an hour of exercises per week, by 26 percent. Someone who both cycled and exercised had 36 percent less risk. Strolling and gardening did not reduce such risks among the young and active.
Hoevenaar-Blom published the results last month in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation. The research work is part of the MORGEN study which also led to the publication of another article in the magazine Sleep. Hoevenaar-Blom reported in the latter that people who sleep less than six hours each night over a long period and wake up in the morning without having enough rest will have 63 percent more probability of getting heart and vascular diseases.