Sitting is relaxing, a way to correct your body posture, rest your legs and body after a testing day but sitting too much is bad for health. Everyone in this modern era is guilty of sitting too much. This brings an onslaught of many avoidable health problems.
Read on to known more on how health damaging it can be to sit all day – from your head to your toes.
1. Weak Legs and Glutes
Sitting too much impacts the legs and glutes in a harmful way. The more you sit, the more your legs become weak. The lesser you use your legs the more you lose their functionality! By sitting for long periods, you do not use the powerful lower body muscles. Weakening of these strong muscles is a dangerous condition known as muscle atrophy. Without strong leg and glute muscles to keep your body steady you, your body is at risk of injury.
2. Weight Gain
Movement of your body causes your muscles to release molecules like lipoprotein lipase, which helps process the fats and sugars you consume. When you spend most of your day sitting, the release of these molecules is lessened. According to a research, the less production of the healthy molecule leads to a greater risk of gaining weight in the lower body. Even exercise would not lessen the risk for metabolic syndrome. A study revealed that men who spent more time sitting than usual, gained more weight around the middle, which is the most dangerous place to store fat. While women gained fat in the rear end, thighs and lower body.
3. Tight Hips and a Bad Back
Sitting for longer periods, affects not just your leg and glute muscles, but also your hips and back will suffer. Sitting too much causes hip flexors to shorten which is hurtful. A seated position for long can also hurt your back, particularly if you have bad posture or don’t use an ergonomic chair. Also, poor posture in a seated position can cause compression on the discs in your spine. The compression can lead to premature degeneration, which results in chronic pain.
4. Anxiety and Depression
The mental disorders of sitting too much is lesser understood than some of the physical effects. Sitting too much for long period increases the risk of both depression and anxiety. As fitness and movement boosts mental health, lack of movement impacts mental health severely. With regular exercise you can mitigate the disadvantages.
5. Cancer Risk
Some recent studies suggest that prolonged sitting can increase the risk of certain types of cancer, including lung, uterine, and colon cancers. The reason for this finding is not clear. You may be more likely to get colon, endometrial, or lung cancer after the habit of prolonged sitting. The more you sit, the higher the odds of cancer. The study further reveals, older women have higher odds of breast cancer. That percentage does not change even if you are super-active. The damage happens on the duration of how much you sit.
6. Heart Disease
Next, side effect of sitting too much is heart disease. The longer your sitting hours are, the more chances are of potential cardiovascular disease. Movement in the body means better blood flow, while being still for a longer period mean just the opposite. Studies revealed that that percentages in men are more than women. Statistics point out the people who sit more have a 147 percent higher risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke.
7. Diabetes Risk
The risk of diabetes increases with sitting too much. Studies have revealed that more you spend time sitting, there is a 112 percent increased risk of diabetes. An experiment concluded that in just five days of bed rest, there was an increased insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. Healthy lifestyle and movement of the body is the key to avoid and manage diabetes, while sitting long hours increase the risk of diabetes.
8. Varicose Veins
Varicose veins or spider veins are unsightly green blue-veins that appear on the legs. Sitting for long periods of time results in blood to pool in the legs. Though generally not harmful themselves, these swollen and visible veins are weird looking. In rare cases, these veins can lead to more serious conditions, like blood clots.
9. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
As siting too much causes blood to pool in lower body especially legs, it can lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It is a type of blood clot that occurs mostly in the legs. If a part of this clot breaks off, it can cut off the flow of blood to other parts of the body such as your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. This is a medical emergency that can lead to major complications or even death. Sitting for too long, even on a long road trip or on a long journey by air can cause DVT. So, keep your legs moving and avoid being stuck to your chairs for a longer period of time.
10. Stiff Shoulders and Neck
As with your legs, and lower back, your shoulders and neck also suffer from prolonged sitting. This especially holds true if you are hunched over looking at a computer screen. Move your body, rotate your shoulders and do not let your neck be in one position for a longer period of time.
11. It Can Shorten Your Life
Sitting for long can shorten your life. A survey reveals you are more likely to die earlier from any health cause if you sit for long stretches at a time.
12. Dementia Is More Likely
Like the other mental health effects of sitting too much, studies point that dementia is also more likely. No movement, sitting still for longer period of time makes your brain could look just like that of someone with dementia. Sitting raises your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, all of which play a role in the severe mental condition. Moving throughout the day has more benefits than exercise. Cut back on sitting or longer period of time and lower your risk of all these health problems.
13. Undoing All That Exercise
The effects of too much sitting are hard to counter even with exercise. Even if you work out 7 hours a week, which is far more than the suggested 2-3 hours, you still cannot undo the effects of sitting 7 hours at a time. Don’t throw away all that hard work at the gym by sitting for the rest of the day.
Keep moving and avoid the long hours sitting.
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