- Sitting for too long not only leads to the familiar aches and pains, but also several life-threatening conditions.
- Sitting all day can increase your chances of blood clots, depression, and even cancer, according to scientists.
- Moving more or sitting less can help combat this.
Today’s lifestyle has led most of us to spend the most part of our days sitting down, not just at work.
Several studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle can cause a lot of health problems.
Sitting for too long not only leads to the familiar aches and pains, but also several life-threatening conditions, such as memory loss, blood clots, heart disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and cancer.
The dangers of sitting too much
1. Back and neck pain
If you’re constantly spending hours sitting in front of a computer, you may be familiar with the aches and pains that come with it.
2. Blood clots
A sedentary lifestyle can cause slow blood flow in the legs, as well as lower levels of clot-preventing proteins.
According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, women who sat for more than 40 hours per week had more than double the risk of a clot moving to their lungs compared with those who sat less than 10 hours.
3. Obesity, diabetes, and heart trouble
Sitting for a long time can make it hard for you to combat the weight gain it can cause.
A sedentary lifestyle can still cause problems for otherwise healthy people, since a “lack of movement affects how we burn fat and metabolize sugar and the body’s response to insulin,” says David A. Alter, M.D., Ph.D. This can lead to a rise in cholesterol levels, thereby increasing your risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
4. Fragile bones
Regular movements, even those as simple as standing and walking, helps stress your skeleton in a good way. This signals specialized cells to replace old bone tissue with new.
Sitting too much, however, would mean that the body is not regularly replacing what needs to be replaced. This can lead to fragile bones and an increased risk of osteoporosis.
5. Depression and anxiety
A study in Mental Health and Physical Activity found that long hours of sitting can increase your risk for depression and anxiety, even if you exercise. Other studies, meanwhile, show that increased physical activity can help improve one’s mood.
For every additional two hours per day spent sitting, the risk for colon cancer and endometrial cancer increases by 8 percent and 10 percent, respectively, according to one review in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Will increasing your physical activity help?
Inserting activities that demand physical labor can help improve your lifestyle. These can be simple chores such as manually washing clothes, walking to places, or gardening.
While is it difficult to ascertain whether moving more or sitting less helps decrease our risk for disease, it is universally acknowledged that regular physical activity is important.
Make it a point to put in at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous cardio exercise each week.
Getting up and moving around is important for regulating body systems that lower our susceptibility to disease.