Why Sitting is More Dangerous Than You Realize
Lets admit it, we’re all guilty of sitting down too much nowadays. It’s 2015, most of us are glued to our smartphones, computers, tablets and TVs. We are plopped down for the majority of our day.
Add in the fact that a lot of us now work in comfy computer chairs, and it only makes matters worse. Think about how long our ancestors sat down in chairs… Not very long, they were either up and about walking or laying down. Excessive sitting is a fairly new phenomenon in human society and we are just now realizing the dangerous side effects that come along with it.
Lack of Exercise
One of the major causes of ill health is being inactive by not exercising the body. Most of the people would prefer jobs and activities that don’t involve physical activity and instead opt for nice comfy chair jobs.
One needs to ask themselves about the health dangers that the nature of their jobs could be exposing them to.
Office jobs require one to spend most of the time seated. We all have heard about the dangers of low activity levels. Those are obvious. What isn’t obvious is how much worse you make it if you don’t exercise AND you sit around too much in one position.
This one is pretty obvious. Excessive sitting leads to being overweight and even becoming obese. It is also linked to several other problems such as diabetes, premature death, some varieties of cancer and even heart attacks. Not moving around and getting physical activity prohibits your body from burning extra calories which are then stored as fat.
Due to the prolonged sitting down, the rate at which metabolism is done in the body is slowed down. The body fails to regulate some of its system functioning such as regulation of blood sugar, the breaking down of the body fats and also the regulation of blood pressure.
Accelerated aging has also been observed in people who are less active. Being inactive accelerates the loss of bones and muscles and eventual aging in humans.
Activities such as using computers, doing excessive studying and assignments without a pause, traveling by other means other than walking or riding bikes, watching television or even reading, increase the periods that people stay seated. However sleeping is not included in these behaviors, because sleeping is a natural thing that are bodies have accustomed to over thousands of years.
More Risk for Disease
Scientists from Leicester and Loughborough Universities have stated that the damages of sitting affects even people who exercise, so you can see it’s pretty serious. The study, which was published in Diabetologia, took a look at 18 studies that involved almost 800,000 people.
Diabetes UK stated that anyone who spent a lot of time sitting or lying down would “obviously benefit” from being more active and fit.
In a 1950’s study, London researches concluded that the link between poor health and the amount of time sitting was becoming more apparent, when they discovered that seated bus drivers were almost twice as likely to have heart problems than the bus conductors who stood more often.
Researched worried that changes in lifestyle and employment were going to increase these risks for a lot of the population. In 2011 a study found that the average adult now spends almost half their day in a seated position.
The primary conclusions of the study were that longer sedentary times were associated with:
- 112% increased risk of diabetes
- 147% increased cardiovascular events
- 90% increased death due to cardiovascular events
- 49% increased death due to any cause
How Much Sitting is too Much?
Experts have determined that we should stand up from a seated position every 25 minutes to encourage healthy circulation of blood throughout our bodies. This makes sense since a lot of our joints are bent when we are sitting, which blocks healthy blood flow.
So think about that, how often do you get up?
Some countries have even gone to the extents of setting up policies that govern the lengths of periods that children in schools should remain seated. Often, not more than two hours and then there is a break of about 30 minutes.
In summary, sitting down for too long increases ones chances of suffering from lifestyle diseases which can be avoided by leading a more active lifestyle.