Be careful next time you go see a hockey game, as the excitement might turn dangerous for your health. A recent research discovered people tend to get really nervous when watching this sport, both during a live game or in front of the TV. These intense emotions influence their body, as their heart rate increases significantly.
Heart rate increases during hockey games
Researchers from the Canadian Heart Institute selected 20 people with ages between 20 and 63 and who enjoy watching hockey games. Then, they equipped them with Holter monitors, which kept an eye on their heart activity. Also, it’s worth mentioning all the participants were healthy.
They observed how those who watched a game on TV suffered a heart rate increase of 75 percent, similar to a change caused by moderate physical exercise. The increase was even higher for people who went to see a game live, as it reached 110 percent. This is the equivalent of strenuous physical activity. Although the effects of physical and emotional stress are similar, they don’t bring the same benefits.
Is it dangerous to watch hockey games?
Intense physical exercise is linked to a long list of benefits and advantages. However, although the heart rate and blood pressure increase are the same, emotional stress has quite the opposite effect. At the same time, it also leads to higher levels of insulin and cortisol, and bigger chances of inflammation.
Therefore, viewing a hockey game and feeling nervous for any scoring opportunity is associated with high levels of stress. Each time the game reached an intense moment, all participants suffered a peak in their heart rates. This raises questions as to the safety of viewing these games for people with heart issues.
There might be a risk for these people, but researchers need to perform a more extensive study, with a bigger sample. This way, the study might be applied to an entire population, and it might accurately assess the risk level. The current research results have been published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.
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