Today, prolonged sitting has been ingrained in our daily lives. Whether it’s from driving a car, sitting at a desk all day, or simply sitting around at home watching television, there is evidence that sitting too much can be detrimental to your health. Known as ‘Sedentary behaviour,’ it is defined by the prolonged periods of time spent sitting. It requires very little energy to expel. Apart from the possibility of gradually debilitating our bodies, sedentary behaviour has been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early death.
And, while you may feel that a regular exercise regimen may counteract the negative consequences of your frequent sedentary behaviour, studies now believe that sitting for the majority of the day can be lethal in either case. According to some researchers, “sitting is the new smoking.”
11 Reasons to Avoid Excessive Sitting.
1. Heart Diseases
When we sit, our muscles burn less fat, causing our blood to flow far more slowly than it should. This can result in the accumulation of fatty acids that might block the heart over time. This may explain why persons who work in positions that require them to sit have twice as high a risk of cardiovascular disease as those who work in positions that require them to stand.
Apart from burning less fat when we sit for extended periods of time, prolonged sitting also increases our blood sugar levels. Not only do you burn fewer calories, but scientists believe that sitting may alter our bodies’ insulin response (the hormone that helps burn sugar and carbs for energy purposes).
3. Early Death
According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, sitting for extended periods of time increases the risk of premature mortality even with regular exercise. However, do not use this as an excuse to skip the gym; instead, keep moving!
Individuals who spend most of their days sitting have an increased risk of colon, breast, and endometrial cancer. Increased insulin levels, which promote tumour cell growth, are the primary relationship between sitting and developing these cancers. Getting up and moving about can help you maintain healthy insulin and blood sugar level.
5. Over-productive Pancreas
Insulin appears to be a common denominator when discussing the risks to your health associated with excessive sitting. Thus, it is critical to recognize that the pancreas is the organ that makes insulin and that it, too, can be impacted. While insulin assists in transporting glucose to our cells for energy, it does not respond as easily to insulin release in an inactive body. As a result of increased insulin production, your pancreas is forced to work overtime. One day of continuous sitting has been shown to lower the insulin response in the body significantly.
If you spend a lot of time sitting and watching television or surfing the web for hours on end, or if you work in an office that demands you to sit all day. It’s more likely that you’ll gain weight and become obese. Standing burns 30% more calories than sitting, yet sitting reduces your body’s circulation of lipase (a fast-absorbing enzyme), which can contribute to a wider waistline. Researchers at Tel Aviv University discovered that prolonged sitting results in the formation of fatty tissue cells known as preadipocyte cells.
7. Strains at the neck and shoulder
Excessive muscular use might occur as a result of prolonged sitting at a desk or computer. Neck pain can develop as a result of muscle strain and tension induced by prolonged sitting. When seated at a desk, you will inevitably slump. This position, dubbed “crane neck,” strains the cervical vertebrae, resulting in long-term imbalances. Slouching can then result in poor posture as your shoulder and back muscles strain to overextend.
8. Inflexibility of the spinal cord.
When we move our bodies energetically, the soft discs between our vertebrae expand and contract, acting as shock absorbers and giving critical nutrients, fresh blood, and oxygen to our discs. When sitting for extended periods of time, the disks might become out of proportion. When these disks become unbalanced, they become deficient in these vital nutrients. Collagen that helps maintain the spine can also harden around tendons and ligaments, limiting your back’s flexibility and perhaps stiffening it.
9. Disk defects
Apart from depriving our disks of the nutrients described previously, those who sit for extended periods of time are at an increased risk of developing herniated lumbar disks. This is because your spine is put under great pressure when you sit and your weight is not uniformly distributed. According to Kelly McGonigal, PhD, “sitting distorts the normal curvature of the spine, which means your back muscles must work harder to keep your back in shape because you are no longer using the natural curves of the spine to lift yourself against gravity.”
10. performance of the brain
It’s unsurprising that when you spend an extended period of time stationery, everything slows down. This is also true of our brain’s functionality! The more we walk, the more fresh blood and oxygen are pushed into our brain at a much faster rate, increasing productivity and producing hormones that can improve our mood.
11. Degeneration of the muscle.
Abs: Unless you regularly activate your core while sitting, your ab muscles are likely to be relaxed. In comparison, when we stand straight and in a walking position, our abdominal muscles maintain our upright position.
Hips: If you want to increase your flexibility, I’ve got some bad news for you sedentary types—sitting can actually shorten (and tighten) your hip flexors. Due to the fact that persons who sit rarely extend their hip flexors, their range of motion and stride length are limited. Deep squatting, lunging, and standing hip extensions are all excellent exercises for preventing muscular shortening.
Legs: When legs are weak and limp, this can lead to a variety of biomechanical problems throughout the body. This can manifest as decreased stability, poor balance, and a higher risk of injury in general. Leg weakness can also raise your risk of bone breaking.
Manage your health in a positive way
You may make changes to reverse the innocent habits we’ve developed that are causing our bodies to deteriorate. Increase your daily movement: Every half hour or so, stand up and stretch. Feel your toes. Take a walk around the workplace, stand at your desk for a portion of the day, or consider purchasing a raise-able desk if you are unable to construct your own. Practising yoga or making a conscious effort to stand tall and maintain a straight posture is extremely beneficial. These factors can help mitigate the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting and keep you on the path to good health.