Scientists say that sitting is the new smoking, and while this may sound a little exaggerated, studies show that there is a lot of truth to the statement.
Research has found a direct link between sitting for long periods of time and a growing number of health concerns. These include high blood sugar, obesity, increased cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure. When all is said and done, too much sitting can increase the risk of death from a stroke and even cancer. You read that right – cancer!
Below are a few reasons why too much sitting is harmful to your health.
It Weakens the Heart
Scientists connected the dots when they studied two groups of professionals; transit drivers who are required to sit all day and guards or conductors who are required to stand most of the time. Despite their lifestyles and diet choices being very much alike, transit drivers were up to two times more likely to contract cardiovascular diseases than the guards and conductors.
Ever thought you’re forgetting a little too much lately? This could be because of your extended sitting habits. Sitting can increase the risk of diabetes, stroke, heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure – all of which play an integral role in contributing to dementia. Moving just a little bit throughout the day can lower these risks.
Exercise Has no Effect on Excessive Sitting
Even if you are in the habit of exercising more than 7 hours a week, which is more than the recommended 2 to 3 hours a week, it is scientifically impossible to counter the effects of sitting for 7 hours without standing up. However, don’t take this as an excuse to put off going to the gym. Just remember to stand up and walk for a few minutes every hour or so.
Increases the Odds of Getting Diabetes
It is true that if you sit for too long, you increase the likelihood of contracting diabetes. This is explainable because you are burning off fewer calories. Scientists have found a direct link between sitting and type 2 diabetes, yet doctors aren’t clear why. It could be due to how the body reacts to insulin levels.
Getting Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a very deadly clot that can form in your leg without giving so much as a warning signal. It can become deadly once the clot breaks off and becomes part of the bloodstream and enters into the pulmonary arteries. This is when the clot starts to damage the lung, heart, and other organs. Common symptoms are pain and swelling, and in some people DVT goes undetected until it’s too late.
Puts Pressure on the Back
The seating position places a huge burden on the neck, back muscles, and spine. It’s even worse when you assume the infamous slouching position, which comes naturally to many people. Instead, you should sit upright and invest in an ergonomic chair that will provide support to your back in the proper spots.