Experts are constantly warning us about the dangers of prolonged sitting. Our sedentary lifestyles, combined with regular stress, seriously endanger our health, so many people have developed different conditions as are a result of it.
We sit behind our desks at work, come home and immediately turn on the TV to watch a show, our kids keep staring in the screens while sitting, most of us do not exercise, we go everywhere by car.
Do I need to add more?
Prolonged sitting, known as sedentary behavior, can dramatically endanger our health, and lead to health issues such as cardiovascular problems, type 2 diabetes and even premature death.
This unhealthy behavior is often compared to smoking due to the negative effects, and some researchers even claim that “sitting is the new smoking.”
According to Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.:
“Any extended sitting — such as at a desk, behind a wheel or in front of a screen — can be harmful. An analysis of 13 studies of sitting time and activity levels found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking.”
The human body is designed to stand upright, and in this way, all its organs are more efficient. Physically active people have stronger bones, have more energy and endurance, and are generally much healthier.
Here are 11 reasons why you should avoid sitting for too long:
1. Prolonged sitting raises the risk of colon, lung, and endometrial cancer, and older women that lead sedentary lifestyles are at an increased risk of breast cancer
2. A study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine showed that even if they exercise, people who sit for too long have a higher risk of premature death
3. Prolonged sitting slows down everything in the body, even the function of the brain. The less we move, the less fresh blood and oxygen get pumped into the brain, and this reduces the release of chemicals and productivity
4. As we sit, our abs start to loosen, the hip flexors shorten, and the legs become weaker. It also causes poor balance and stability and raises the risk of injuries and bone fractures
5. Siting can also lead to obesity, as 30% more calories are burned while standing, and according to Tel Aviv University researchers, sitting for too long can develop fatty tissue cells known as preadipocyte cells.
6. Prolonged sitting leads to increased blood sugar levels, and even a change in the way our body reacts to insulin, eventually leading to diabetes
7. People whose job requires sitting have increased rate of heart disease, as their muscles burn less fat and the blood flow is slowed down, leading to fatty acids build-up
8. Insulin is produced by our pancreas, and this hormone helps carry glucose to our cells for energy. When inactive, our body does not respond properly to the release of insulin, and this organ becomes over-productive
9. Elongated sitting can also increase the risk of herniated lumbar disks, due to the increased pressure on the spine.
According to Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., “When you sit, you distort the natural curve of the spine, which means your back muscles have to do something to hold your back in shape because you’re no longer using the natural curves of the spine to lift yourself up against gravity.”
10. Elongated sitting can also lead to neck pain and poor body posture
11. Inactivity creates an imbalance of the softs dicks between the vertebrae, and they become starved of important nutrients. Collagen, that supports the spine, hardens around the tendons, and thus reduces the flexibility of the back and causes stiffening
Therefore, we all need to make the necessary changes and prevent the damage that prolonged sitting causes to our bodies. Start practicing yoga, start walking, take a stroll around the office, and stretch every half an hour while at work.
The effects of movement will be profound. The body will start burning more calories, leading to more energy and weight loss, your muscles will be toned, your mental well-being will be boosted, and your entire body will become stronger and healthier.