Health Magazine | All physical activities are not good for the heart


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. And according to Inserm, "the trend is not about to reverse".

Sport: a way to prevent cardiovascular disease, but …

Yet, there are many methods to prevent these pathologies. And sport is one of them. "However, the concept of physical activity is broad, and little scientific work has focused on the effects of different types of exercise on health," says a team Inserm / University of Paris. Which has therefore sought to know if "any physical activity is beneficial, or if in some cases, it can be deleterious. "

They therefore relied on data from the Prospective Parisian Survey III. This large French study has followed for the past ten years the health status of more than 10,000 volunteers, aged 50 to 75 years.

Participants completed a questionnaire on the frequency, duration and intensity of their physical activity conducted in three different contexts: physical activity, physical activity at work (for example, carrying heavy loads), and recreational physical activity (such as gardening). Then everyone's health was evaluated.

Heavy loads, premature death

To do this, scientists have quantified the sensitivity of the baroreflex, "a mechanism of adaptation to sudden changes in blood pressure." And more particularly the neural baroreflex "which measures nerve signals sent by the receptors present on the walls of the artery, in response to a distension thereof. "

In fact, an anomaly of this neural component is related to rhythmic pathologies that can lead to cardiac arrest.

Result"High intensity physical activity is associated with a better neural baroreflex. Conversely, physical activity at work (repeated heavy load type) would rather be associated with an abnormal neural baroreflex and greater arterial stiffness, "explain the authors.

"It could therefore be deleterious to cardiovascular health. Any physical activity at work is not bad for your health, but repeated activities such as carrying heavy loads can be. "

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