Health Risks of Sitting for Too Long

During the primitive time, humans do a lot of leg work from one place to another to get work done. However, with advent of technology this globalizing world has brought, a lot of things has changed. Most people now have to sit in front of a computer for prolonged time in order to get work done.
Now researchers and health experts have linked prolonged periods of sitting with multiple health problems. Some of the health risks of sitting for too long includes depression, obesity, high blood sugar, stress, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular problems.
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Health Risks of Sitting for Too Long

Leading a sedentary lifestyle or sitting for too long can have an adverse effect on the human body. The health issues associated with prolonged sitting accumulates over time.
Let’s look at some health risks that accompanies sitting for too long.
  1. Weight Gain
During body movement your muscles discharge lipoprotein lipase, which help in processing the sugars and fats you consume. This process is hindered when you sit for too. Also, your buttocks and hip are at a bigger risk of widening. The cells become fattier, and the body increases the fatty molecules, insulin resistance, and the bad cholesterol. The body then gets to a point where it can no longer accept the insulin. This mounts stress on the liver and the pancreas.
  1. Pain in the Shoulders, Neck, and Back
Pain in the back, shoulders, and neck are also among the health risks of sitting for too long. When you sit for prolonged period, pressure is being mounted on the spine thereby leading to pains in your shoulder, neck, and back. Sitting hunched before a computer can further deteriorate this condition.
Maintaining a wrong sitting position, especially when working, causes firmness on the spine discs and leads to premature degeneration and chronic pain. During body movement, the discs in the back contract and expand which helps them to absorb nutrients and blood. However, the discs compress more and lose their flexibility due to prolonged sitting.
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  1. Cardiovascular Problems
Cardiovascular problems is one of the health risks of sitting for too long. Blood flow gets slower when you sit for long and the muscles tend to burn less fat. Therefore, it makes it easy for the fatty acids to block your heart. When the blood vessels and arteries leading to your heart are congested, it leads to heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular problems.
  1. Digestion Issues
Digestive issues can occur as a result of sitting for too long particularly after you’ve just eaten. This causes the contents of the abdomen to start compressing. This slows down the digestion process. When this happens regularly, the slow digestion leads to heartburn, constipation, cramping, bloating, and dysbiosis.
  1. Posture Problems
Sitting for too long can lead to posture problems. Your posture can be affected when you sit for long periods. Poor posture can mount pressure on the neck, shoulders, and back, making you slouch when you walk or sit. Sitting puts more pressure on the vertebrae and increases the chances of a herniated disc.
  1. Varicose Veins
Varicose veins, also called spider veins, develops due to sitting all day. Prolonged sitting causes the blood to gather in the legs, leading to the formation of varicose veins. Varicose veins are not harmful, but can be very hideous and horrid.
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  1. Weaker Legs
The purpose of your legs is to hold and support your body weight. Sitting for too long invariable switches this role meant for the legs to the back. When you sit, the lower muscles help you hold up, which causes weakening of the muscles, a condition described as muscle atrophy. This is one of the health risks of sitting for too long. Gradually, your legs start feeling weak and fail to balance the body weight.
  1. Depression
Prolonged sitting can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. Sitting for long does not only affect the physical health, but also has serious mental effects on the body. In fact, the risk of anxiety and depression are higher in individuals who spend their most time sitting.
  1. Loss of Memory Power
One of the health risks of sitting for too long is loss of memory power. Sitting for long before a computer causes your brain to become foggy over time. When the body moves, the muscles pump oxygen and blood to the brain; thus, releasing mood-enhancing chemicals. However when you sit for long every day, the way a brain functions is also affected.
  1. Earlier Death
Leading a sedentary life leads to lots of health problems. According to a report from World Health Organization, being inactive or sitting for too long in front of a computer is the fourth leading cause of death globally.
According to the report from WHO, inactivity was the major cause of an estimated quarter of colon cancer, 30% of heart cases, and 27% of diabetes cases.

Things to note if you are sitting for too long

  • Use a comfortable chair that has armrest
  • Avoid using the elevator when you sit for long to work. Instead, take stairs whenever you can to help boost blood circulation and heart rate.
  • Do not let your foot to rest for too long, move for 10 minutes in every one hour.
  • Park your vehicle far from your office so that you can take a longer walk.
  • Take a stroll outside during coffee and lunch breaks.
  • Stretch your muscles often. Do small leg exercises while sitting.

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