Even though our bodies are designed for moving, a large number of us spend quite a lot of time sitting. An average person today spends 9-10 hours each day sitting. That’s so much inactivity that sometimes even 1 hour workout session can’t be enough to counteract its effects. Still, a lot of people don’t manage to fit in even a workout or a long walk in their schedule. If this is the case with you, make sure you check out what can go wrong unless you start moving.
While you’re sitting, you’re slowing down your blood flow which means your muscles will burn less fat. The more fat there is, higher are the chances fatty acids will clog up your arteries and cause you some heart problems. Excess sitting can also can also affect your body’s ability to respond to insulin. This will result in your pancreas producing higher amounts of insulin which might cause diabetes. For example, if you’re sitting more than 8 hours per day, you are 90% more likely to likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes. In addition, sitting for such a long time can also increase your risk of colon, breast, and endometrial cancers.
It’s quite obvious that sitting for such a long time will slow down your digestive system. Body movement helps you burn energy you get from the food you eat and when you do not move you’ll burn it slower. This is especially the case when you sit right after your meal. This will cause your abdominal contents to compress which will significantly slow down your digestion. Such problems with digestion will cause cramping, bloating, heartburn, and constipation. Microbial imbalances in your body will also cause you dysbiosis in your gastrointestinal tract which can be quite a serious condition.
One of the things a large number of people who sit too long have to deal with is bad posture. We all have a bit of a relaxed slump when we are sitting at our desks, but staying in that position for 8 straight hours can seriously damage your posture. Backaches, sore shoulders, and herniated disks are just some of the problems you might face if you’re sitting too long. If you’ve ever faced a pulled muscle or a slipped disk, you know how unpleasant this pain can be. If you already feel some pain in your back, turning to the experts who provide chiropractic services might be necessary.
If you’re not using your legs enough, they’ll become weaker. Of course, resting is something you have to do, but it’s better to do this while you’re sleeping and to use your legs during the day as much as you can. Weakening your leg muscles will only make you more injury prone as well as more likely to develop a leg condition. For example, sitting for such a long time leads to a poor circulation in your legs might cause swelling at your legs and varicose veins. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is another condition you might have to face unless you start using your legs more.
A recent study has shown that obese people sit 2.5 hours more than others every single day. Excess sitting and obesity have always been connected and it’s quite reasonable to assume why. Not moving your body enough will make you store more fat and increase your chances of gaining weight. But being overweight isn’t the only problem you can face. Obesity can lead to many other disorders such as heart disease or stroke. Also, a recent study has shown that people who spend most of their day in a chair are 73% more likely to develop metabolic syndrome. Reducing the time you spend in your chair to under 1 hour a day is drastically going to reduce your chances of being obese and suffer from any of these conditions.
Anxiety and Depression
Mental health issues are finally starting to get more attention these days. Numerous studies have shown that sitting for such a long time can damage your mental health as well. Just like the rest of your body, your brain depends on good blood flow and metabolism. No matter what your reason is for spending so much time in your chair, if you don’t want to face the likes of depression and anxiety you’ll have to start moving your body more. Just a brisk walk or a 10 minute workout session can be enough to reduce the negative effects sitting has on your psyche.
All of these are the problems you might have to face if you spend too much time at your desk. Fortunately, there are ways to get in better shape even if sitting is a part of your job. Park your car far away from your office or think of a longer route when you’re walking home. Sometimes even the smallest changes can have a positive effect on your body.