Summary:  A new study out of the University of Alberta has challenged the long held belief that heart attack sufferers need an extended period to re-build heart strength. It appears that the opposite is true however the challenge is keeping patients motivated to exercise. One potential solution is to workout at work.

A long held medical belief prescribing extended periods of rest for millions of heart attack victims over the years has been challenged by a recent study from the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta. Researchers found that the health outcomes for heart attack patients were increased favorably by instituting exercise as early and often in the recovery period as possible. The challenge for most was fitting an extended exercise regimen into patient’s lives. TrekDesk treadmill desks provide a unique solution, allowing exercise without additional time out of the work day.

 Heart Healthy by Walking at Work

The study, a collaborative effort between the University of Alberta, Duke, Stanford and the University of British Colombia reviewing over 20 years of medical trials, found that stable heart attack patients benefitted most from an exercise program within a week of the attack as opposed to a standard 30 day rest period prior to rehabilitation.

Study co-author Mark Haykowsky stated the importance of the findings, “While it's been shown that exercise has a favorable effect on heart function, it's also important to dispel the idea that what the heart needs is rest. Exercise is a wonder drug that hasn't been bottled.” The study found that the heart responds better to early introduction and prolonged adherence to aerobic exercise regimens such as walking. "For every week that a patient delayed his or her exercise treatment, he or she would have to train for the equivalent of one month longer to get similar benefits," stated study co-author Alex Clarke. "Our findings suggest that at least six months of exercise is the most beneficial."

“The challenge for heart patients and the general population is finding time to make exercise a priority let alone a habit when our office and home environments encourage sedentary behaviors,” state Steve Bordley, CEO of TrekDesk Treadmill Desks. “We have to introduce products and mechanisms that trigger exercise automatically if we ever hope to change long term behaviors and positively impact health.”

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