This release is available in French.
Montreal, July 20, 2010 A study conducted at the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) has shown unexpectedly that living with children is linked to a reduction in physical activity. Carried out with 756 participants and led by Dr. Simon L. Bacon, Associate Researcher at the MHI and Professor at Concordia University, the study assessed the impact of social networks on exercise, revealing that people with heart disease who live with children exercise less than those people who do not live with children.
The team of researchers associated with the Social Networks and Exercise in Coronary Heart Disease Patients study wanted to gain a clearer picture of the factors explaining why the majority of heart patients do not succeed in following an exercise regimen, even though its advantages are widely known. Two major unexpected conclusions were drawn from this study: One, that living with someone, for example a spouse, has no impact on participation in physical activities; and two, that living with children has a negative influence on a parent's ability to exercise.
Though the results were not as expected, this study highlights steps that should be taken to encourage people with a coronary disease to avoid a sedentary lifestyle; an important risk factor for future major cardiovascular events. "This study has led us to reconsider the way we go about motivating our patients to change their lifestyle habits, says Dr. Bacon, the director of the study. Perhaps our efforts should target the patient's entire family. It would be interesting to explore this approach in a subsequent study."
It was perhaps fitting that this study was carried at the MHI, since the prevention of heart disease is one of the cornerstones of its mission. Dr. Martin Juneau, the director of prevention at the MHI, views its conclusions as an
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