Most of the people of this generation are spending well over six hours just sitting every day. Long gone are those days where most people worked seventy percent of jobs in the agricultural sector. It has been found in studies that more than half the population.
America is spending over eight hours every day sitting at a desk. The worldwide pandemic in 2020 did not help people get active, and we all got cooped up in our homes. Scientists state that groups of people with similar diets and lifestyles can be differently prone to diseases based on
whether they walk most of the time or sit all day.
Living a sedentary lifestyle combined with sitting at a desk all day could thus be dangerous for your body. You will have better chances of living a healthy life if you do less sitting or lying down during the day. There are too many risks that result from sitting all day. This article would help you understand the risks of sitting too long.
How Sedentary Are People Nowadays?
Research worldwide found that almost 6% of deaths all years would have been prevented if not for physical inactivity. Physical inactivity is now among the four top causes of death that result from noncommunicable diseases. It also results in almost 25% of colon and breast cancers, 30% of heart diseases, and about 37% of diabetes cases. The statistics of how many people of different age groups are active are given as follows. Though the data shown below is for the time before the pandemic, you would get the idea of how much people are sedentary.
- Around 60% of adults worldwide don’t do the recommended moderate-intensity exercises for 30 minutes every day.
- Children aged between 5 to 17 do the recommended duration, that is, 60 minutes of physical activities each day.
- Lesser than one in three children and young adults do not have more than two hours a day of screen time.
- About 70% of adults worldwide can be classified as sedentary people and don’t have a healthy physical activity level.
How Can Being Sedentary Affect Your Body?
The American Chiropractic Association spokesperson asserts that the human body is not made for sitting all day long. Instead, it is made for working. He also states that there are a lot of risks that we face if we are sedentary. Your cardiovascular system, including your heart, works more
efficiently when you are not sitting. There are many more advantages of not sitting all day.
Below are the risks and diseases that you face when you have a sedentary lifestyle.
- Stiff shoulders and neck: Your shoulders and neck would suffer big-time if you are slouched over at your phone or a desk for an extended period. It would lead to stiffness in your neck and shoulders.
- Weight gain: Doing any form of physical activity, be it walking or exercising, makes your muscles release specific molecules like lipase, lipoprotein, etc. These molecules help to break down the sugars and fats contained in your diet. When you sit all day long, these molecules’ production slows down, and you face a greater risk of becoming obese.
You could be doing high-intensity exercises, but extended periods of sitting would cancel all of the hard work that you do. You could even get metabolic syndrome and gain weight around your middle.
- Legs and glutes: If you sit for long, you will waste away your leg and gluteal muscles. These are the muscles that help you walk and be stabilized. If your leg and glutes get weakened, you injure yourself more from falls and get strains while exercising.
- Varicose veins: varicose veins or spider veins result from long hours of sitting. It leads to the pooling of blood in your leg veins. Though they aren’t very dangerous, they cause a lot of pain and lead to blood clots.
- Hips and back: Similar to your legs and glutes, your hips and back would suffer from sitting too long too. Sitting also leads to your hip flexors getting shortened. It even hurts your back if you slouch or don’t have an ergonomic chair at your workplace. If you have a bad posture, it would also result in compression of the discs in your spine, which leads to premature degeneration and chronic pain.
- Diabetes: people who spend most of the day sitting have about 112% more chance of contracting diabetes. Researchers saw only five days of bed rest cause more insulin resistance, which is a symptom of diabetes.
- Anxiety and Depression: The mental effects of sitting are less understood than the physical ones. But they can be attributed to the fact that sitting doesn’t include the cognitive benefits of being active. People who sat most of their time were said to be more depressed. You can reverse these effects by exercising daily.
- Heart disease: Sitting has direct effects on your cardiovascular health. It can lead to more risks of death and heart diseases too. Scientists have found that sitting increases your risk of stroke by 147%.
- Cancer: sitting too long also increases your risks of getting lung, colon, and uterine cancers. Future research on this effect is still being made.
- Deep vein thrombosis: DVT is a blood clot that mainly occurs in the legs. If this clot breaks, it will cut blood flow to other parts of your body, especially your lungs. Consequently, it could cause a pulmonary embolism.
The risks of sitting too long are dangerous. It would be best to exercise each day and cut down when you are sitting or lying down. It would be best if you tried strolling about after every half an hour of working. You should be active at work as well as indoors. Do home workouts if you can’t go out sometime. At work, take the stairs, organize walking meetings and take strolls more often. Adapt behavior that makes you active. Mostly, you should avoid sitting too long under any circumstances, even for road trips!