Young Office Workers at Risk of Fatal Clots

Posted on 20 May, 2012 by MOVEHUT

A recent survey has found that young professionals are doubling their risk of suffering a possible life threatening blood clot because they sit down to work for three hours at a time, eat lunch at their desks and then go home and sit on the settee.

A charity has warned that young commercial property office workers and video game fanatics are putting their health at risk with their inactive lives. Diabetes, obesity and heart disease are all connected to an unhealthy lifestyle; however the charity Lifeblood has warned that sitting for lengthy periods of time can also increase the direct health risk due to blood clots.

Deep vein thrombosis, labelled economy class syndrome as it has been linked to restricted long-haul flights, can affect anyone who sits for extended periods without getting up to move about.

A recent survey carried out of 1,000 people aged under 30, found young commercial property office workers sat still for an average of three hours and three quarters, consumed lunch at their desk instead of taking the opportunity to move about, which would cut the risk of a clot.

In addition, eight out of ten young professionals spent the evening sitting on their settee at home. The charity said, after sitting for 90 minutes the blood flow at the back of the knee falls by half and this doubles the chances of developing a blood clot.

There are around 60,000 potentially fatal blood clots logged in Britain each year, and for every single hour spent sitting, the risk of blood clotting increases by 10 per cent.

Director of the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Dr Richard Beasley, said: “People know that a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease in later life.

“However, very few are aware of the fact that prolonged immobility in the workplace also poses an immediate threat, more than doubling the risk of developing a potentially fatal blood clot. It is vital that this potential risk is recognised in both the office and at home.”

Beasley further added: “People must be educated regarding the risks associated with sitting down for long periods and offered strategies to change their work practices.”

Video enthusiasts aged between 16 and 21 were also included in the study and it was found they sat for an average of two hours without moving and some confessed to sitting for five hours.

Fifty per cent of those surveyed even put off comfort breaks and drinking and eating, while playing. The survey found that 96 per cent of gamers played for 90 minutes on a regular basis.

Medical Director of Lifeblood, Professor Beverley Hunt, added: “Our research has uncovered a ticking time-bomb with some nine million office workers and countless young gamers putting themselves at risk of a potentially fatal blood clot.

“The human body is designed for the ‘caveman’ lifestyle; active, agile and constantly mobile. Instead we have become increasingly sedentary, obstructing the body’s ability to function as it should.

She further added: “It is imperative that we take heed of these early warning signs, and take regular breaks, be it at your desk or in front of a video game.”

A DVT is a blood clot, also known as a coagulation, which forms in a deep vein, most commonly in your pelvis or leg. It may not cause any symptoms at all or cause redness, swelling and pain.

If a clot is dislodged and passes through the blood vessels it can enter the lungs. Symptoms include chest pain, coughing and breathlessness, and can be serious.

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