I am an IT professional and I spend most of my time sitting in front of the computer. I know sitting down for extra hours is not considered good for health but there is nothing I can do about it and I have to sit for those long agonizing hours. Eventually, I paid the price for sitting down too much and I became obese. I came to know various other health-related risks and I am going to discuss them in detail.
But, before I go ahead and explain them, let us first get to know how sedentary lifestyle can harm you.
Why Is Sitting For Long Bad For You?
Well, the human body is made to be physically active. I am sure not many people are familiar with “Sedentary Death Syndrome”. It is a key risk element for various diseases across the world and it is responsible for various premature deaths each year as well. Physical inactivity can also expedite the aging process. What’s worse is that sedentary lifestyle influences metabolism, vascular health, and increase triglyceride levels and alleviate HDL cholesterol.
So, now that I have made you aware of why you should avoid leading a sedentary lifestyle, make sure you keep in mind the following 7 shocking health risks of sitting down too much and make changes to your lifestyle accordingly.
When you are sitting for prolonged periods, there is no considerable physical activity done by your body, thus you burn less fat. Moreover, your blood flow also bogs down, this gives fatty acids an easy chance to clog your heart, thus increasing the chances of heart disease. As per a survey, sitting has also been linked with bad cholesterol and high blood pressure. Alarmingly, sitting has been responsible for varied cancers as well including – endometrial, colon, and breast.
Whenever you move your body, it tends to tighten up the abdominal muscles, helping you stay in an upright position. Sitting in an inappropriate position or slumping are two key reasons for having poor posture. It not only results in poor posture, but it weakens your abs as well. If you are spending most of your time sitting on the chair in your office, then it can cause inflexibility in the spine, leading to back pain, and above all, there is a risk of herniated disk damage.
When you are not giving your body a chance to move, it will tighten your hips leading to less hip mobility and eventually lead to hip pain. Furthermore, your butt muscles are not benefited by prolonged sitting, soft glutes end up affecting your stability and you won’t feel it easy to walk or run. There will be poor circulation of blood in your legs, as a result, you will have swollen ankles, this can cause DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). Less physical activity will also lead to weak bones, leading to osteoporosis.
Head, Shoulder And Neck Problems
Our human body is certainly a complex system. When you are sitting for long periods, your muscles won’t be able to pump fresh blood through your brain. Thus, it will alleviate brain function and can cause brain fog. Whenever we are in a seated position, most of the people sit with bad posture with their neck bent towards the keyboard, this leads to permanent imbalance. When you sit for extended periods of time in a wrong posture, you end up exhausting both your shoulder and back muscles, this causes chronic pain.
Inadequate Supply Of Oxygen
Whenever we sit, we have an awkward posture i.e. hunched forward. One of the key issues with this sitting posture is that we are compressing your lungs. You can breathe more freely when you are in an upright position because this is the time when you are giving maximum space to your lungs to expand. When you are crouching over, you are giving your lungs limited space and with lesser oxygen intake it slows down the circulation, moreover less amount of oxygen goes to the brain as well, affecting our ability to concentrate. When there are low levels of oxygen in the body it is termed as “hypoxia” and it makes your tissue to lose function as they are not getting what they should.
Risk Of Losing Your Lean Muscle Tissue
If you are sitting for more than five hours, you have a risk of reducing your overall muscle mass, more specifically lean muscle mass. It is with the help of lean muscles you are able to your daily activities such as – going to shopping, opening doors and leaning over. With less of it, you will be less likely to be independent when you grow old.
We all are a part of a modern lifestyle where we have bad eating habits. When we eat junk food, no fat gets converted into energy owing to the inert position. This, unfortunately, raises the cholesterol levels in the body and it goes to the stomach and scatters to other parts of the body as well.
One of the common results of eating unhygienic food and sitting for extra hours is obesity, this is one thing everybody knows and unfortunately, I went through it. Make sure you are not consuming junk food if you are not doing any physical activity, instead encourage fluid intake, especially water.
Less Responsive To Insulin
If you are spending most of your time sitting, then, in that case, your body will become less responsive to insulin, a key protein accountable for the regulation of blood glucose levels as a part of metabolism. It is caused by the over-productive pancreas.