Researchers have found that sedentary lifestyle may increase the risk of heart failure in men.

According to a Kaiser Permanente study, researchers analyzed the electronic health records of over 82,000 men aged 45 years or older, who had no previous history of heart failure.

The physical activity levels of the examined men were calculated in terms of the metabolic equivalent of a task (MET), and sedentary levels were recorded as the number of hours a participant spent sitting.

Men who sat for at least five hours beyond their regular workday and had low levels of physical activity were two times more likely to be affected with heart failure when compared to men who sat for no more than two hours and were more physically active.

"Though traditionally we know quite a bit about the positive impact that physical activity has on cardiovascular disease, we know significantly less about the relationship between physical activity and heart failure," said Deborah Rohm Young, PhD, study lead author and researcher at the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation. "The results of this large study of a racially and ethnically diverse population reinforce the importance of a physically active and, importantly, a non-sedentary lifestyle for reducing the risk of heart failure."

If a proper blood flow is not maintained in the heart, it may result in heart failure. According to the American Heart Association about 5.7 million Americans were affected in 2012 by heart failure. Moreover, about one in nine deaths in 2009 were linked to heart failure. Around 50 percent of people affected with heart failure are expected to die just within five years of diagnosis.

The research revealed that men with lowest levels of physical activity were 52 percent more likely to get heart failure compared to men with the highest MET scores.

"Kaiser Permanente considers physical activity an important part of a comprehensive approach to patient wellness and has included exercise as one of the patient's vital signs for several years now," said Young. "Hopefully, this study will provide even more evidence that moving more and sitting less can be prescribed for better health."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults between 18 years and 64 years should get at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise or about 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise each week.

The latest research is important as it highlights the importance of exercise and its role in the well-being of the heart.

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