Lots of us people hold jobs that require sitting for long periods. The occasional restroom or snack breaks may provide a reprieve, but otherwise, you are likely sitting for the better part of the day. Apart from your career, though, other habits such as gaming and binge-watching movies and TV series contribute to long hours of sitting.
While sitting can feel relaxing, doing it for too long can be bad for your health. The negative health effects of a sedentary lifestyle are well-documented. It can negatively impact both your mental and physical wellbeing. The World Health Organization (WHO) says it’s the fourth leading risk factor for mortality and is the main cause of up to 30 percent of heart diseases and 25 percent of breast and colon cancers.
But what makes sitting for too long so bad?
Some people think that sitting for long periods is bad simply because you’re not engaging in any activity. However, there are other explanations. One of these is that when standing, your body burns somewhere between 100 to 200 calories. Sitting, on the other hand, slows the body’s ability to burn off energy to about 60 to 130 calories per minute.
The negative effects of sitting down for too long create a vicious cycle. First, you suffer from ill health, which means you’ll likely spend more time lying or sitting down. The more you do, the less motivation you have to move around, meaning you sit down even longer.
So what illnesses can you get from sitting around all day? We listed down a few below.
If you’re already diabetic, you know that insulin is a hormone that helps your body burn sugar and carbohydrates. Unfortunately, sitting for long periods slows down your body’s metabolism, which results in increased resistance to insulin.
The problem doesn’t stop there. The excess insulin due to your body’s resistance can lead to weight gain. And, as your insulin resistance develops, your blood sugar levels may begin to rise, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes
If you’ve ever experienced itching, irritation, and pain in your anal region, you may have developed hemorrhoids. One of the reasons these swollen veins in your lower rectum develop is because you might have been sitting for long, especially on the toilet.
Prolonged sitting puts pressure on that part of your body. Under pressure, the veins tend to bulge or swell. If you suspect that you’re suffering from this, make sure to consult your physician in Lehi for hemorrhoid treatment options. Even better, avoid the risk by staying active. Apart from keeping pressure off your anal region, exercise can help you lose weight that might be contributing to your hemorrhoids.
If you’ve been sitting in an uncomfortable chair at work or at home for ages, you might be familiar with neck and back pain. While that’s another negative effect, more serious issues may develop, including osteoporosis.
Your bones lose density each year after peak production in your early 20s. Unfortunately, inactivity or a sedentary lifestyle contributes to the greater rate of decrease of your bone mass. The result is weakened bones or osteoporosis, which will only worsen as you age.
All these illnesses can easily be prevented without breaking a sweat. Just remember that your reluctance to take action is what contributes to these health problems. So get up and take a step towards counteracting a sedentary lifestyle.