Did you know that a new research indicates that sitting for long hours may lead to early death? Sitting a lot does not mean you will die early but it definitely increases the risk.
We’ve all been told time and again that sitting for long hours comes with several health risks. You may develop serious health problems such as increased risk of heart disease and diabetes and not just stiffness and muscle fatigue.
Here are a few ill-effects of sitting down for long hours:
Stiffness and exhaustion
Sitting for long hours without moving or changing your position can lead to stiffness in your muscles, neck and shoulders. Hours of sitting still means squeezed blood vessels and reduced blood flow to these parts of the body, leading to fatigue. This muscle fatigue in turn contributes to stiffness and also exhaustion.
Poor blood circulation
As sitting down for a long time lowers blood circulation to your lower body, the electrical activity in your leg muscles come to a standstill. In addition, blood pools in your lower legs contributing to numbness and varicose veins.
Yes, we said obesity. Sitting all day instead of moving around is a major contributing factor to obesity. Sitting does not burn any calories and sedentary lifestyle slows down your metabolism, changes how your body functions and leads to weight gain.
If you think exercising for an hour every morning or evening will compensate the seven to eight hours of sitting behind your desk, you are wrong. Experts suggest that an hour’s exercise or walking or gym does not make up for sitting all day. Even if you work out every day and then sit all day, you are just as likely to develop heart disease as those who don’t exercise and sit all day. So, make sure you move out of your desk once every hour, stretch, take a small walk around the office and then get back to your desk.
In addition to increased risk of heart disease, not moving from your desk also increases the possibilities of developing diabetes. This is because sitting for prolonged periods slows down your body and results in increased blood sugar and insulin resistance leading to developing diabetes.
You should know that your body is not made for sitting down all day. Sitting for long periods will put a lot of pressure on your hip and spine and will lead to injuries such as herniated disc. Constant pressure to your spine due to long hours of sitting may lead to compression of spinal discs which is not just painful but might require long-term treatment and in some cases surgery.
Pain in the knees
Most of us sit for eight to nine hours at our desks and most of the time end up sitting in the same position. Same position means pressure on your kneecap contributing to pain and swelling, resulting in having to wear a knee brace. To avoid this, move from your desks and flex your muscles.
Not moving around and working away all day can make you depressed. In addition, there is a scientific reason as well. Less movement means less blood flow. If the blood flow into your body decreases, the movement of feel-good hormones in your body also reduces, making you more depressed. And those who are prone to depression are at a higher risk if they sit still all day. Hence stand up, move around and let the blood flow through your body and be healthy!
Photograph via sxc.hu
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