With the growth of the gig economy and the emergence of a large number of people working from home, the new health threat facing developed countries today is a sedentary lifestyle.
Sitting too long is inevitable for most people working with computers. Unfortunately, prolonged sitting has very serious health consequences. In fact, these health consequences are so severe that most health authorities call sitting “new smoking.”
It’s no secret that using a computer can lead to health problems. But can sitting too long cause health problems? The answer is yes, and in this article, you will learn 7 reasons why.
Lead to Obesity
In 2012, a research team surveyed just over 3,000 elderly people in Spain about how sedentary their lifestyles are. The group examined the correlation between the number of hours of sitting per day and how many hours per day they walked.
The research team’s findings were overwhelming. They not only found that sitting time increased obesity in both women and men, but they found that obesity was independent of walking time. However, other studies have shown that moderate physical activity for more than 60 minutes a day actually negates the health effects of 8 hours of sitting.
Many other research projects over the years have yielded similar results. What’s remarkable is that the effects of sitting on obesity are so serious that they can actually counteract physical activity to the point of neutralizing it.
The reasons for this are quite common sense. When you sit for too long, all of the following effects increase your risk of obesity:
- Less energy is required than standing or moving, so you burn fewer calories over time than you would otherwise.
- Encourages behaviors that contribute to obesity, such as snacking or drinking alcohol.
- Failure to engage most of the muscles for an extended period can lead to a decrease in muscle mass, leading to a decrease in metabolism.
Hope is not lost. There are ways to combat obesity, even if you have to sit for 8 hours a day.
To avoid weight gain if you have to sit for long periods of time during the day:
- Make sure you take at least 30 minutes a day for every 4 hours you need to sit.
- If you choose a standing table for part of the day, you can burn almost twice as many calories as sitting. Over time, these calories can increase significantly.
- For a snack, try drinking water, tea, or low-calorie soup to satisfy hunger and avoid excess calories.
- strains your hip flexor muscles, which can reduce your flexibility over time.
- Slows down blood circulation to your gluteal muscles, which can contribute to lower back pain.
- Leaning to the screen can cause pain in the neck muscles and sprain discs in the spine.
- train muscles that are not used regularly; especially the abdominals, glutes and muscles between the shoulder blades (walking and rowing are great for this).
- Stretch muscles that can become tense and painful; for example, pectoral muscles, neck and thighs. Prevention Magazine offers excellent options for this.
- An alternative to a standing desk and other ergonomic office equipment This will help relieve tension and pressure on discs throughout your spine and relieve tension in your hips.
- Move at least once an hour for several minutes to improve circulation.
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Getting enough sleep boosts the body’s immune response.
- Exposure to sunlight gives energy to T cells, which support immunity.
- Regular massage improves the health of endocrine and cellular immunity.
- Research shows that even a 30 minute walk leads to positive changes in immunity.
- Dietary supplements that most enhance immunity include vitamins C, D and B, garlic, curcumin, and echinacea.
- Make sure you move around for a while while sitting. This means standing and walking from time to time every day.
- Include enough protein in your diet every day.
- Drink plenty of water.
- At least exercise. moderately 3-4 times a week, including heavy lifting.
- Get enough sleep.
- Eat spicy foods occasionally.
- Reduces blood flow and allows fatty acids in the blood to accumulate in the blood vessels.
- Your body’s ability to produce the enzyme lipoprotein lipase, which your body needs to break down fat, is reduced by about 90 percent, leaving that fat to circulate in the blood.
It can cause early degeneration of the spine
When looking at all the health problems of sitting too long, the spinal effects are the most significant.
Sitting for extended periods of time affects your back and spine in the following ways:
To reduce the stress on the spine from sitting too long:
Increases chances of developing cancer
A 2018 American Cancer Society study found a link between sitting too long and the risk of death from most underlying causes. One of them was cancer.
Prolonged sitting increases the chances of the following types of cancer.
It is known that sitting and in general any form of sedentary lifestyle causes weakening of the immune system and inflammation. Most experts agree that a weakened immune system increases the likelihood of cancer.
Anything you can do to boost immunity can reduce your risk of sitting for too long. Here are some great ways to do it.
In addition to all of this, a healthy, high-nutrient diet has the same positive effects on your immune system as supplementation.
Strong immunity will not only lower your risk of cancer, it will also protect you from viruses and colds.
High risk of diabetes
One important study published in 2012 with nearly 800,000 participants found that prolonged sitting daily doubled the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Dealing with diabetes can seriously affect your quality of life and is one of the most serious and likely hazards from prolonged sitting. It can seem difficult to understand why sitting can cause diabetes until you understand the cause and effect of sitting on metabolism.
Sitting for many hours a day ultimately lowers your body’s metabolism. A decrease in metabolism leads to an increase in insulin resistance in the body. Higher insulin resistance ultimately leads to type 2 diabetes.
The good news is that countering the effects on your metabolism is not difficult if you work on it every day.
To improve your metabolism:
Even if you have to sit 8 hours a day at work, this does not mean that you will develop diabetes. It simply means that you have to monitor your metabolism very closely every day.
Increased Risk of Heart Disease
As if it’s not enough that sitting too long can lead to a myriad of other physical problems, it can also increase your chances of heart disease. But why?
When you sit for a long time, blood flow decreases. The following are direct causal relationships between sitting and heart disease.
The methods for dealing with these risks are exactly the same as for the other risks mentioned above. Increase your daily movement and exercise significantly. Also, try to move frequently during your work day, not just during your workouts.
More people than ever before find themselves in jobs where they have no choice but to sit for long periods of time. Sitting for too long, however, shouldn’t be a death sentence if you’re creative with what you need to do to stay healthy when you’re not working.
What are you doing to make exercise and other healthy habits a part of your lifestyle? Share your ideas in the comment section below.