Half of all Americans are spending more than six hours sitting every day, and the effect isn’t just a wider rear end. Sitting has both short- and long-term health consequences, making this seemingly harmless practice potentially lethal.
Here we’ll discuss how sitting all day can damage your body from head to toe.
Remaining in a sedimentary position for hours throughout the day can cause you to lose muscle tone. Since you’re not relying on your abs and strong lower body muscles to keep you upright, your core loses strength. Muscle atrophy or the weakening of these muscles can happen quickly from hours of inactivity. Then your body is at risk of injury when your core isn’t able to stabilize you.
When you move, your muscles release molecules like lipoprotein lipase, which aid in the digestion of fats and sugars. According to science, as you spend most of your day sitting, the release of these molecules is reduced, and your body is likely to gain access weight.
Hips That Are Too Tight & Back Pain
Sitting is bad for your hips and back, just as it is bad for your leg and glute muscles. Sitting shortens your hip flexors, and sitting can also hurt your back, particularly if you have poor posture. Furthermore, poor sitting posture can cause compression of the discs in your spine, resulting in premature degeneration and chronic pain.
Depression & Anxiety
The emotional effects of sitting are less well understood than some of the physical consequences. However, people who sit the most are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, most likely because exercise releases those happy chemicals in the brain like serotonin. With that being the case, becoming more active, like doing morning workouts before the day’s activities begin, and if you’re working from home using a standing desk rather than a traditional sitting one, may help to minimize the risks.
New studies have shown that sitting for long periods will raise cancer risk, including lung, uterine, and colon cancers. The explanations for this are a little hazy.
Sitting is harmful to the heart and can lead to cardiovascular disease. According to one study, men who watched television for more than 23 hours a week had a 64% higher chance of dying from cardiovascular disease than men who watched television for just 11 hours per week. According to experts, people who sit more have a 147 percent higher chance of having a heart attack or stroke.
Sitting for more extended periods increases the risk of diabetes by 112 percent. Researchers found increased insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes, in one study that looked at the results of just five days of bed rest.
Blood will pool in the legs if you sit for long periods. Spider veins or varicose veins may result from this. These swollen and noticeable veins can be unsightly, even though they are usually not harmful. They can, in extreme cases, lead to more severe conditions such as blood clots.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a form of a blood clot that occurs most frequently in the legs. When the clot breaks apart, a piece of it may block blood flow to other areas of the body, including the lungs, resulting in a pulmonary embolism. This medical emergency could result in severe consequences or even death. DVT can be caused by sitting for too long, even on a long road trip.
Shoulders and Neck Stiffness
Your shoulders and spine, like your thighs, buttocks, and lower back, will suffer from prolonged sitting, especially if you’re hunched over a computer screen for an extended period of time.