We have all been given a body, which is meant to do a lot of physical work, but today modern machines have taken over this labor from us. Hence, fewer body movements and longer sitting hours, which eventually develops into various physical problems, such as chronic back pain, poor posture, and possibly fatal diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart ailments. Four scientists have come forward to reveal the exact nature of the problem when we sit for hours.
On an average, a person usually spends most of the day in an immobile posture like working on the computer, viewing television, traveling for work etc. Therefore, when you get up after sitting for hours, the molecular mechanism that boosts your cells get disturbed causing major health issues.
Fatty acids begin clogging your heart when you sit for hours because the flow of blood get slow and fat burning of muscles get less. A research happens to reveal that in the case of women, who sit for more than 10 hours a day stand a greater chance of heart disease emerging, compared to those who sit for less than five hours.
Excess sitting in a day affects the body’s capabilities from responding to the insulin, making way for diabetes to strike. A research by scientists went on to reveal that diabetes and heart diseases struck those who would sit for hours than those who would sit less. And a 90% risk of Type 2 diabetes striking those who sit for more than 8 hours a day.
Extreme hours of sitting enlarges the risk for breast, colon and endometrial cancers. Though the mechanism is unknown for sure, probably the cancer-causing free radicals happen to get eliminated as the extreme insulin production, which stimulates cell growth or the everyday movement, that boosts antioxidants stop functioning due to extreme hours of sitting. Hence, 54% lung cancer, 66% uterine cancer, 30% colon cancer, and weight gain occur due to sitting for hours.
The digestion process slows down, as the abdominal insides get compressed when you sit straightaway after eating. Hence, a slack digestion causes heartburn, cramping, bloating, and constipation, accompanied by dysbiosis in your gastrointestinal area, a status caused by microbial differences in your body, as per the scientists.
The functioning of the brain slows down, due to the body not being active for hours, as the brain does not receive enough fresh blood and oxygen, which is required to activate the release of brain and mood enhancing chemicals.
Strained Neck and Shoulder
Now when you hold your neck and cuddle a phone to your ears or move your head forward when working at a computer, you begin to get neck strain, sore shoulders, and back because you strain your cervical vertebrae along with permanent imbalances.
When you sit your spine receives immense pressure, not so much from standing and the back gets worse for those who work on their computer sitting all hunched up. Approximately 40% people spending hours on a computer, apparently suffer from back pains.
You see when you move, your disks in your back expand and contract, allowing them to consume nutrients and blood. By sitting the disks get compressed, losing it’s flexibility later. Extreme sitting raises the risk of herniated disks. But if you do reduce your sitting to one hour from 12 – 14 hours, then there’s a chance for all that struggling with the back pain vanishing.
The abdominal muscles happen to get tensed while standing, therefore, while sitting it is idle and this finally leads to weaker abdominals.
Due to extreme hours of sitting your hips even suffer, as it becomes hard and bound in the area of movement, as they are barely functioning. The cause of falls among the elderly people is reduced hip movement. Your glutes apparently get weak due to sitting and affects your strength and imbalances your pace to jump or walk.
The legs receive poor movement due to sitting and this to your ankles and varicose veins swelling, including blood clots called as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Bones turn stronger and denser from walking, running, and involving in heavy labor activities. Hence, the absence of any such activities allows the bones to get weak and also osteoporosis.
Lifespan begins to get shorter when you spend plenty of hours sitting. It was revealed in a study, that your lifespan can increase by 2 years if you reduce your sitting to below 3 hours a day. The British Journal of Sports Medicine also published another study, that 22 minutes of your lifespan is reduced with each hour spent watching television after the age of 25. This was interpreted by the authors with smoking, as 11 minutes of the lifespan is reduced with each cigarette you light up. Therefore, 5 years of your lifespan is reduced with every 6 hours of TV watching compared to those who do not watch television at all.
How to get into action?
A healthy lifestyle involves high-intensity exercises, but the fact is that 50% of men and 60% of women never indulge in any heavy physical activity. Therefore, the only way is to try out plenty of non-exercise movements in their day to day life.
Well, it’s very simple, just get up and make a move, no doubt, it’s difficult but not impossible, if you have a desire not to suffer from all those pains that sitting brings. Try to set a target of 3-5 miles or 6-9 kilometers of walking daily, which will definitely bring plenty of movement and decrease the sitting. Even in your workplace try to sit less and walk around more, take the stairs rather than taking the elevator.
Sitting surely reduces your lifespan and causes plenty of serious health issues, the more you stand the better for you. But if you do sit, then here is how you should do it.
Sit up straight and try not to hunch or droop over your keyboards while sitting at a computer. You can purchase an exercise ball, that shall allow your body to stay upright and drives your ab muscles to be active.
Every morning make sure to do some stretching for at least 30 minutes, as per the scientists this helps the blood flow to be normal and enabling your muscles along with your brain to perform excellently.
Yoga helps extensively in keeping the flexibility of the muscles and permitting relaxation to the mind and unwind from the daily work pressure.
A standing work desk at the office shall favor you to go about with your work in a straight posture. This reduces the chances of a blood clot and any other serious health issues to occur because your oxygen and blood happen to circulate freely through your body.