If you are someone who spends most of the day sitting down, you may want to know if prolonged sitting has many adverse effects on the body. While sitting down is not a bad thing by itself, as it could even be a form of rest, the danger lies when one observes extended period of sitting. This is because, during the period of sitting, there is very little physical activity going on with your body.
Whether you spend long hours sitting to play video games at home, read a book at a library, or work at your office desk, it presents almost the same problem. Some of the issues that can arise from prolonged sitting include:
1. Heart Diseases
Sitting down for extended periods increases the risk of heart diseases. This is because the blood does not properly flow to areas like the legs. It also affects the regulation of blood sugar and blood pressure. This could eventually lead to a heart attack or stroke.
2. Leads To Weight Gain
Prolonged sitting could also cause you to add weight unintentionally. This is because you are likely to eat more that way. Also, it reduces the release of certain molecules which help with the breakdown of fat and complex sugars. According to a study, sitting for long could cause one to gain weight around the middle (the belly/waist region).
3. Back and Spine Issues
Your back and spine can be affected by prolonged sitting. This is because you are usually in a slouching position when sitting, which is just bad for your back. When you maintain such a position for a long period, it could begin to affect your posture. This could affect your spine disc, resulting in chronic pain and other related spine issues.
4. Increases Cancer Risk
Prolonged sitting increases your risk of certain types of cancer, particularly lung and colon cancer. Some new medical studies have confirmed that increased cancer risk is one of the negative health effects of prolonged sitting.
5. Stiff Shoulders and Neck
Sitting for a long time, continuously, could cause your neck and shoulders to become stiff. This is because of the position you maintain while seating, especially if you are working on a computer. This could make it difficult for you to turn your neck or move your shoulders. Incase you feel a lot of pain then we recommend Kibucet Tabs by Kofikrom Pharmacy Limited.
6. Weak Legs
If you spend most of your day sitting down, you would give your legs very little to do. This could cause the muscles around the legs to weaken, resulting in what is called atrophy. It may get to a point where your legs may be unable to properly support your body frame.
7. Leads To Varicose Veins
Regularly sitting for long period of time leads to poor blood circulation in your legs. When you sit your veins have to work harder to carry blood to your heart. This leads to swelling in your ankles, varicose veins, spider veins, and even blood clots, also known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Another one of the side effects of prolonged sitting is increased risk of diabetes. One study suggested that prolonged sitting may contribute to an increased diabetes risk, especially among physically inactive people.
How to avoid prolonged sitting
As we have seen, the effects of prolonged sitting are more serious than one might think. But if you are someone who cannot just give up such a lifestyle, especially if it is due to the nature of your job, there are some things you can do.
• Take a Walk Break
Aim to take a walk break every 30 minutes to 1 hour. You do not have to even walk anywhere. Just stand from your chair and move your legs around. You can do this for 2 – 5 minutes before assuming the sitting position again.
• Walk Home
After spending so many hours sitting down at work, you should try to do some walking on your way home. Instead of taking a bus or driving your car home, which would require you to sit, you can set aside days when you would do more walking.
• Get A High Desk
You may also want to get a high desk at work to prevent you from slouching all day. With a high desk, your body would be level with your computer. This would prevent you from developing a bad posture.