Sitting is inevitable and continuous. You sit at home, on your way to, from and during work. Some people’s jobs even require that they spend most of the time sitting.
While it may be good for relaxation when done in short spurts, sitting for extended amounts of time can harm your body.
Many people do not know the consequences of prolonged amounts of sitting. It has a range of consequences for many organs within your body.
Here are some of the risks associated with prolonged amounts of sitting.
Sitting for long amounts of time may hurt your heart.
Research has shown that people who spend more time sitting are at a higher risk of contracting heart diseases. People who spent more time sitting at their workplaces, such as long distance drivers, are more likely to face heart complications than others who live a similar lifestyle but spend most of their time mobile.
Excessive sitting causes the release of troponins, which are linked with an increased likelihood of developing a heart attack and other cardiovascular conditions.
Sitting may shorten your lifespan
People who spend more time sitting are likely to live for significantly shorter lengths than people who regularly move about outside. The risk of a shortened lifespan is so severe that it does not matter whether you exercise or not.
Sitting may increase your risk of dementia
Prolonged sitting has been proven to increase the risk of getting dementia. Brain scans reveal that people who spend long hours sitting have similar brain wave patterns to people who already have dementia.
Spending too much time in front of the television or mobile screen may also negatively affect your mental health. You will be more likely to suffer from brain damage and Alzheimer’s disease.
Sitting counteracts the effects of healthy exercise.
Sitting will undo any benefit that healthy exercise offers. Long hours slumping on the couch will serve to reduce the effectiveness of your gym activity.
While exercise helps to tone muscles, clear up blood vessels and to burn fat, prolonged sitting causes fat build-up, muscle degeneration and clogging of blood vessels. The effects of sitting directly counteract any benefits of engaging in exercise.
Combining exercise and prolonged sitting may result in a zero sum game which does not benefit you. It may even falsely mislead you into extending the time you may choose to sit.
Sitting increases the risk of diabetes and obesity
Prolonged sitting is often accompanied by binge watching television, surfing the internet and a large amount of unhealthy snacks. Sitting may increase your likelihood of becoming obese due to the large number of calories consumed without any outlet activity.
Sitting prevents the body from burning up calories, which may increase the likelihood of developing diabetes. Obesity also increases your likelihood of developing diabetes.
By sitting, you could very well develop obesity, diabetes or both.
Sitting may cause varicose veins
Prolonged sitting causes large amounts of blood to pool in the leg area, which pressures your veins. In reaction to the increased blood weight, they may swell, bulge or twist in an unnatural way.
The pressure may also cause the capillaries in your legs to burst. It can be a painful experience for you, as there is no guaranteed cure. The condition is chronic and terribly painful. Alleviating the pain may require the use of medication that has side effects such as dependency.
Sitting may cause Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
Prolonged sitting is characterized by little movement. By sitting still for lengthy amounts of time, a clot may develop in one of your legs’ veins. The clot could also move up and lodge in your lungs.
Having a clot significantly increases your likelihood of rapid death. At any time, the clot could lead to blockage of blood to an important organ, which will result in necrosis. After a while, this may pile up into untenable medical expenses, or even death.
Sitting may cause a rise in anxiety levels
Spending too much time alone and engaging with television and phones harms your sleeping pattern.
Sitting for prolonged amounts of time will also lower the rate of your body’s energy consumption, which will affect your sleep patterns.
As a result of less sleep, you will likely be more anxious and prone to anxiety attacks.
Sitting destroys your muscles
Prolonged sitting will put a strain on your neck, spine and back. As it is difficult to find a seat that is the perfect height and support for you, you will likely experience muscle pain around your back and neck region.
Pain relief is difficult to achieve for chronic pains such as those brought about by persistent sitting.
You may find yourself seeking stronger painkillers for your unending pain, which may ultimately develop into morphine addiction.
Sitting may increase likelihood of osteoporosis
In older adults, prolonged sitting may wear out bone density. A reduced bone density is associated with conditions such as osteoporosis, which are difficult to treat.
Older adults who spend more time sitting are more likely to lose their ability to walk, and develop joint pains and arthritis than those who engage in strenuous outdoor activities.
Sitting increases the likelihood of cancer
It significantly pushes up your risk of getting lung cancer, endometrial cancer and colon cancer. Older people are at an increased risk of developing these types of cancer as a result of prolonged sitting. It also increases the likelihood of breast cancer in women.
Sitting for a prolonged amount of time has been proven to have a detrimental effect on almost all of your body. It hurts your heart, veins, brain, back, neck, shoulders, bones and ability to connect with other people in meaningful social interaction.
If you are unable to avoid sitting, such as by requirement of your work, you may take hourly breaks for a little mobility. You could use this time to stretch your body in order to increase blood flow to all parts.
Remember, too much sitting may harm your health.