When you sit, you use less energy (more precisely three times less energy) than you do when you stand or move. For a start, our bodies weren’t naturally made to sit all day. Any extended sitting such as at a desk, behind a wheel, or in front of a screen can potentially be very harmful to your overall health. Many types of research have linked sitting for long periods with many health concerns including obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat, and abnormal cholesterol levels. Also Read – What Is The Difference Between Neutral & Stability Running Shoes?
It affects blood circulation
Although sitting involves less muscular effort than such physically demanding jobs as gardening, cleaning, or bartending, it still causes some discomfort. It requires several groups of muscles to hold the trunk, neck, and shoulders in a fixed position. This position squeezes the blood vessels in the muscles enough to reduce the blood supply to the working muscles when they need it the most. An insufficient blood supply leads to fatigue and makes the muscles prone to injury. An insufficient blood flow of the blood that is returning to the heart from the lower legs, causes blood to clot, causing potentially more serious conditions such as deep vein thrombosis.
Other health issues caused by sitting too much
Even though cardiovascular issues qualify as the number one health problem caused by prolonged sitting, there are many others to add to the box. Losing your muscle mass by not using muscles while sitting contributes to faster weight gain. Spending the majority of your day sitting and not moving enough slows down the digestion of the fats and sugars you eat. Other than gaining weight you are risking a more serious health issue such as metabolic syndrome. Same as your legs and glutes, your hips and back will not be able to support you as well if you sit for a long time leading to hip joint issues and premature degeneration of the spine.
Is it better to sit or stand?
Since the effects of sitting can become very bad, researchers recommend taking a break from sitting every half hour. Both sitting and standing for a long time can cause serious health problems. Standing for long periods can cause muscle fatigue and be difficult for people who have certain health conditions such as asthma, vertigo, and podiatric conditions. However, balanced shifting from sitting to standing can be quite beneficial for your overall health. This inspired the designer to create a height-adjustable electric standing desk, that allows you to shift to any position you feel more comfortable working at any given moment. These desks are flexible enough to adapt to all changes in the working preferences.
How many hours of sitting is too much?
Every doctor and health organization on this planet encourages people leading a modern lifestyle to move more and sit as little as possible. Experts keep repeating that it is crucial to take a break from sitting every 30 minutes. Even if you do regular exercises, sitting for too long increases the likelihood of the list of health issues mentioned above. But how much is too much? According to recent research based on the results of 7.985 people, sitting for 12.3 hours of an average 16-hour waking day increases the risk from health-related issues, while those who were sitting 11 hours or less per day experienced fewer problems with their health.
How to save yourself from the side effects of sitting too much?
If you’re one of those people who are not getting enough activity in your day, don’t worry, it’s not too late to turn it around and gain great health benefits in the process. Healthy habits are built throughout your whole life, the only thing you need is motivation to change things. Simple adjustments that can be made to your everyday routine such as walking or cycling part of the way to and from work or taking stairs instead of escalators may improve your health significantly. Try parking your car further away from wherever you’re going and walk the rest of the way. If you calculate the time it takes you to pass one mile, you might be surprised that you will often reach the destination faster by walking than waiting for public transportation.
If you have to spend most of your day at home or the office setting, due to the nature of your job, try to always keep in mind that even if you don’t feel the consequences right away, the effects it has on your overall health can be serious. Make sure to regularly switch positions and include at least the lightest workouts, to cancel out the negative effects of the prolonged sitting.