Sitting has become a prevalent part of our daily lives, with many of us spending hours upon hours sitting in front of computers, watching television, or commuting to work. While this sedentary lifestyle may seem harmless, recent research has uncovered some shocking facts about the effects of sitting on our bodies.
Sitting for long periods of time increases the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. A study by the American Cancer Society found that people who sat for six or more hours a day had an overall death rate that was about 20% higher than those who sat for three hours or less.
Sitting can lead to poor posture, which can cause chronic pain in the neck, shoulders, and back. Prolonged sitting can also lead to a decrease in the strength of the core muscles, leading to poor balance and an increased risk of falls.
Sitting can lead to a decrease in the circulation of blood and oxygen to the body, which can cause fatigue and decreased energy levels.
Sitting can lead to a decrease in the strength and flexibility of the muscles in the legs and hips, which can increase the risk of injuries when engaging in physical activity.
Sitting for prolonged periods of time can lead to an increase in the production of enzymes that cause inflammation in the body, which can contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Sitting also decrease production of fat burning enzyme called lipase .
Sitting can lead to an increase in the risk of varicose veins, which are enlarged and twisted veins that can cause pain and discomfort.
Prolonged sitting can lead to an increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is a blood clot that forms in the deep veins of the body and can be life-threatening.
Sitting is associated with the decrease in the amount of physical activity and the increase in the amount of sedentary behavior .
Sitting for prolonged periods of time can lead to an increase in the risk of certain types of cancer, such as colon cancer and endometrial cancer.
So, were our ancestors healthier because they sat less? It's hard to say for sure, but it's likely that they were more physically active and spent less time sitting. In today's world, where so many jobs require sitting in front of a computer, it can be difficult to avoid sitting for long periods of time.
However, there are some solutions to combat the negative effects of sitting. One solution is to take frequent breaks and stand up and move around every 30 minutes. Additionally, it is suggested to use a standing desk or a sit-stand desk, which allows you to easily switch between sitting and standing positions.
Here are five exercises you can do to help counter the negative effects of sitting:
Standing hamstring stretch: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend forward at the waist, reaching for your toes. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times.
Desk chair swivels: Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground and rotate your hips in a circular motion for 30 seconds in each direction.
Seated spinal twists: Sit up straight in your chair and twist your upper body to the right, holding for 30 seconds. Repeat on the left side.
Shoulder rolls: Sit up straight in your chair and roll your shoulders forward and backward, making circles with your shoulders. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Standing calf raises: Stand behind your chair and hold onto the back of it for balance. Rise up onto your toes and then lower back down.
It's important to note that these exercises should not replace regular physical activity and exercise. Engaging in regular physical activity, such as going for a walk, run, or bike ride, or participating in a sport or fitness class, is crucial for maintaining overall health and well-being.
It is also important to remember that even small changes in your sitting habits can make a big difference. For example, setting a reminder to stand up and stretch every hour, or taking a walk during your lunch break can go a long way towards improving your health.
It is also important to keep in mind that every individual is different and so their needs will vary accordingly. It's always best to consult with a healthcare professional or physical therapist to determine which exercises and solutions will work best for you.
In summary, sitting for prolonged periods of time can have a negative impact on our health, increasing the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, as well as poor posture and muscle weakness. By being mindful of our sitting habits and incorporating regular physical activity, as well as exercises, into our daily routine we can help counteract these negative effects and lead a healthier life.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a healthcare professional. Consult with your doctor or healthcare provider before starting any new exercise regimen, especially if you have any health concerns or conditions.