Why do I feel heart palpitations while sitting down?

Causes of Heart Palpitations when Sitting

A heart palpitation is the unpleasant feeling of your heart beating. They may be noticed inside the chest, or in the throat very commonly. It may occur in people with or without heart problems.

Although not very commonly, many people experience heart palpitations when sitting down, or lying down, which are pretty much the same thing and can be triggered by the same causes.

Are you experiencing heart palpitations when sitting? Ask our doctor about the causes!

The causes sitting heart palpitations are as following:

1.   Heart diseases- Many people with heart problems suffer from sitting down heart palpitations.

This is because, while sitting down, the heart has to work harder to pump the blood throughout the body, because when sitting down, there is no gravity to help blood travel in the distant tissues of the body, as it is when one is standing up.

2.   Dehydration- dehydration is a very common cause of heart palpitations. When being dehydrated, the outflow of the heart lessens, and so it has to work harder and faster in order to properly supply the tissues.

3.   Stress, anxiety, and chronic fatigue- most sitting down heart palpitations are caused by stress, anxiety or fatigue. They tend to get worse if stressing about them.

4.   Eating too much- eating large meals can cause palpitations when sitting down or when resting.

5.   Anemia- Anemia can cause heart palpitations when sitting down, due to the increased heart rate which is a compensatory mechanism to balance the oxygenation in the tissues, because in anemia due to hemoglobin problems, there is a lack of oxygenation in the tissues.

6.   Orthostatic hypertension- is a common cause of heart palpitations. It commonly happens when changing positions, for example when standing up when being sited down. It is often accompanied by blurred vision and noise in ears.

7.   Poor circulation- it causes the decrease in the heart outflow, and as a result, the heart has to work faster in order to compensate this lack of volume circulation.

8.   Caffeine, nicotine, tobacco- the intake of this ingredients can cause heart palpitations regardless of the body position. But they may get worse when sitting or lying down.

9.   Exercising- exercising can cause heart palpitations when sitting down

This are some of the most common causes of sitting down heart palpitations, but there are far more causes, such as lack of sleep, post-operation state, high blood pressure, hormone changes, mitral valve affections etc.

What is the mechanism?

Sitting down heart palpitations can be caused by the following mechanisms:

1.   The poor blood circulation- if there is a decrease in the blood volume, this means less blood flowing to the heart. To compensate this lack in the blood volume, the heart beats faster, in an attempt to neutralize the lack of blood volume with the increased heart rate.

In a person that is sitting down, the heart tends to work harder because there is no gravity to help her pump the blood in the distant tissues of the body. This increase in the heart rate can be perceived as palpitations.

2.   An abnormality in the two nerves that stimulate the heart. In some cases, such as anxiety or stress, the sympathetic nerve is more activated that vagus nerve. This results in increased heart rate and palpitations.

How to overcome?

Treating sitting down heart palpitations depend on the underlying. In a case of having a heart affection, treating it would result also in the treatment of the palpitations.

Some simple and effective techniques in treating and improving sitting heart palpitations are:

1.   Avoiding stimulants such as nicotine, caffeine, drugs etc.

2.   Drinking fluids to prevent dehydration

3.   Not eating large meals

In the case of anxiety, stress or fatigue, exercising relaxing techniques such as yoga, breathing therapies, aromatherapy etc.

Get helped by our medical team to overcome heart palpitations when sitting! Click here!

Return to Home Page

Are you looking for information about something in particular? Use this handy search box to see if its written about on this site...