Sitting is the new smoking. Yes, a lifestyle that involves continuous sitting for long duration can be detrimental to your health. It may impact your heart, affect your legs, or even make you gain weight. Here’s all about the harmful effects of sitting for a long time and what you should do to negate them. ~ Ed.
As we enter the exciting phase of adulthood, the natural order of things is that sooner or later, we try to find a career path that suits us best and try to grow and excel at it as much as we can. So, it comes as no surprise that we do have to dedicate a considerable amount of time and effort to really make it in our careers.
It is no surprise to anyone within the workforce that the majority of our time is spent sitting behind a desk, and with the onset of the circumstances of the world after coronavirus, we find ourselves having to spend even more time indoors, sitting down to get our work done.
So, the question on everyone’s mind is, how healthy is it to sit for long periods of time. The simple answer is that it is not healthy at all.
However, there are ways to counter this to be able to get your work done and still stay healthy. Read on to find out more about how sitting for your whole shift affects your health.
7 Reasons Why Sitting for a Long Time is Not Healthy
Sitting for long periods can cause chronic pain, be detrimental to your heart, and could make you to gain weight. This isn’t all as here are more reasons why sitting for long duration isn’t actually healthy.
Impacts the Heart
In order for you to have a healthy functioning heart, blood circulation needs to be at an ideal rate.
By sitting in one position for long periods of time, you are disturbing the blood flow. If you do this on a regular basis, you run the risk of developing coronary problems, and ultimately heart disease becomes too much of a reality for you.
Getting up to move every 20 minutes or so will make a world of difference for your circulation. If you are able to get 30 minutes of exercise or even yoga every day, you will be able to create a healthy balance.
Affects Your Legs
Because the blood circulation is affected when you sit down, sooner or later the blood will begin to collect in your legs. This, in turn, can cause varicose veins – while these are quite harmless, they can sometimes lead to blood clots, which are extremely dangerous and affect the heart and lungs. These clots in the legs are better known as Deep Vein Thrombosis and should be taken extremely seriously.
One way to counter this issue is to invest in a standing desk. Make sure that you do some research to find a quality standing desk that will allow you to stand comfortably as you work. This means you can alternate between sitting and standing and allow the blood to flow throughout your body.
Strains the Nerves in Your Back
When you sit for a long period at your desk or in your bed working, it is a universal fact that you are going to feel the majority of the effect in your back; usually in your neck and shoulders, and sometimes in your lower back.
This is because without you realizing it, your posture gets compromised, and you usually end up stooping over to look at your laptop, and soon this becomes your normal position. By doing this, you are compromising the natural position of the discs in your spine, which will eventually put pressure on your nerves. This pressure will also put a strain on your muscles, and you are going to end up with unbearable pain that will take a bit of work to correct and overcome.
Make sure that you are sitting with your laptop at eye level and make sure that you stretch and do yoga to ensure that your muscles are being exercised.
More Fat is Stored
It is no surprise that the more time you spend idle and sitting in one position, the more fat is stored in your body. This leads to weight gain, which also means that your metabolism rate slows down.
When you exercise, your muscles produce a molecule called lipoprotein lipase. This molecule is what allows your body to process the food you eat, particularly sugars and fats. So naturally, if you are not moving, less and less of this molecule is produced, and the digestive process slows down.
Increases Insulin Levels
Being idle for too long results in a considerable drop in insulin levels. Studies have found that people who don’t exercise and sit for long hours in one position are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. When the body doesn’t move the muscles and circulation are affected, this messes with the balance of all kinds of functions.
Suffer from Chronic Pain and Fatigue
After reading the effects of sitting from the points mentioned above, it comes as no surprise that sitting throughout your whole shift will only result in incredibly heightened feelings of fatigue, even long after you are done working.
If your body isn’t exercised on a regular basis, certain hormones aren’t released, and this could lead to anxiety and depression. The same goes for body aches and pains- if you are consistently inactive, then these ailments will only increase with time.
Naturally, if your body is not getting the care it needs, it is bound to have setbacks. When you sit for a long time, whether it is in bed or at a table or desk, your body is not getting the movement and mobility it requires.
Over time, you will begin to suffer from blood pressure problems along with the other issues mentioned here- this is only going to shorten your lifespan, and premature aging will start to take place. You will start to have aches and pains that are not becoming to your age.
It is safe to say that there is no longer a question or doubt about whether sitting for a long time while working is healthy or not.
The information provided here goes over enough points to prove how important it is for you to balance your activities. It is very easy to get caught up in the work that you have to get done, but it is more important to look at the big picture and consider the value of keeping your health in check.
Over to you
Do you have a long sitting job? Have you faced any health problems? What do you do to negate the harmful impact of standing for long duration? Please share your experiences and tips n the comments below.