Thursday, March 23, 2006

my shrinky dinky heart

what does weightlessness do to a person's heart?
in an attempt to find out scientists conducted a study, keeping test subjects in bed for 18 days. a person's heart doesn't have to work as hard when the body is lying down, and after this short amount of time it was found that the heart shriveled and lost mass.

so what about us!???
what about writers who sit all day long year after year? i often write in bed because during the winter it's sometimes too cold to sit with my feet on the floor. i thought it was a good thing to keep my feet elevated, but now i find i've been shriveling my heart.


Anonymous said...

Don't worry.

You're not in trouble until your EKG starts spelling out curse words.

(Fascinating story, though. Gives a whole new spin on "use it or lose it.")

emeraldcite said...

Hm. Between this news and my whining students, my heart should now be a small, black diamond.

Hatred and lack of use has changed it.


Jeff said...

Actually it's a law of supply and demand. With prolonged inactivity the cardiac muscle will actually decrease slightly in mass due to a lower demand for cardiac output. Once normal activity is resumed the muscle will actually regain it's former mass.
However, changes in cariac mass can happen with different medical conditions besides inactivity. Chronic hpertension, prior heart attack, or atherosclerosis, just to name a few.
Just take a break every hour or so and walk around and you should be fine. :)

anne frasier said...

emeraldcite: sorry to hear about your small, black heart.

jeff, that's interesting and reassuring. i'll try to remember to get off my butt more frequently.

Mary Louisa said...

I have a feeling writers are not a particularly heart-healthy lot. And I'm speaking emotionally as well as physiologically (sp?).

anne frasier said...

You're not in trouble until your EKG starts spelling out curse words.


mary louisa: i think you're right.