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Sleep Apnea and Walking

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MollyBillings +0 points · over 3 years ago Original Poster

We have found that walking is linked with less severe sleep apnea. A study looked at home environment, activity level (monitored by a device worn on the wrist) and sleep apnea severity (AHI or apnea hypopnea index). The people that lived in neighborhoods where it was more pleasant to be outside and walk had less severe sleep apnea (lower AHI) than those that lived in unpleasant neighborhoods for walking. In the same study, the people that were more active (perhaps walking more) had a lower AHI than those were less active. While this is preliminary data, it suggests that by getting out and walking more, you may be able to reduce your sleep apnea severity.

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SusanR +0 points · over 3 years ago Researcher

Thanks for sharing your great research! Walking seems to help prevent the accumulation of extra fluid in the ankles. When fluid accumulates in the ankles, that same fluid can travel to your lungs and neck when you lay down-- causing the throat to collapse, making sleep apnea worse. It has been shown that this positive effect of walking on sleep apnea--preventing fluid from traveling to the lung and neck- even occurs in healthy people who dont have visible swelling in their ankles.

I now often recommend walking to patients with sleep apnea. Its so simple, and good in so many other ways too!

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