You all must already be aware of the fact that sitting for long periods of time, regardless of the reason, is just as deadly as smoking, if not more so. The inactivity involved in sitting kills you in the same way that smoking does. Neither of you probably considers your office chair when something that could end your life comes to mind.
However, many researchers believe that it poses one of the greatest risks to your health. Cut down on how much time you spend sitting, and you’ll lower your chances of getting cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and back pain. More people die from sitting than from HIV; it is more perilous than parachuting, and it is more risky than smoking. We’re killing ourselves by sitting. The chair intends to murder us.
More than half of our waking hours are spent sitting down in the US and around the world, whether we’re driving, watching TV, or working at a desk at home or at work. You have a lower risk of dying young if you stand up or walk around throughout the day than if you sit down at a desk. People who don’t move around much are more likely to be overweight and have type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, and anxiety.
What physical effects does an inactive lifestyle have on you?
People are designed to stand erect. That makes your circulatory system and heart more efficient. When you are upright, your bowels run more smoothly. Bowel function issues are a common complaint among hospital patients who are immobile.
On the other side, when you exercise, your total energy levels and endurance increase, and your bones continue to be strong. Let’s take a look at the dangers and the harm that a sedentary lifestyle, such as sitting about all day, can cause to your body.
gluteals and legs (bum muscles)
Sitting for extended periods of time can cause the major leg and gluteal muscles to weaken and atrophy. These powerful muscles help you stabilize yourself while you walk. You are more likely to suffer injuries from falls and strains while you exercise if these muscles are weak.
back and hips
Your hips and back won’t support you as well if you sit for a long time, just like your legs and gluteals won’t. Your hip flexor muscles shorten while you’re sitting, which may cause issues with your hip joints.
Sitting for long periods of time can also hurt your back, especially if you have bad posture or don’t use a workstation or chair that is built for comfort. Also, bad posture can put pressure on the discs in your spine, which can speed up their early wear and tear and make you feel terrible.
Your body digests the fats and sugars you consume better when you move your muscles. Because digestion is less effective when you sit a lot, you keep those sugars and calories as fat in your body.
Even if you exercise but spend a lot of time sitting down, you still run the risk of developing health issues like metabolic syndrome. The latest studies say that you should do 60 to 75 minutes of moderately intense activity every day to counteract the risks of sitting for long periods of time.
Although we still don’t fully understand the connections between sitting and mental and physical health, we do know that those who spend more time sitting are more likely to experience anxiety and sadness.
It’s possible that this is the case because people who sit for long periods of time miss out on the health benefits that come with being active and staying fit. If that’s the case, getting up and moving around would be a good idea.
Recent research shows that if you sit too much, you are more likely to get cancers like colon, uterine, and lung cancer. Exercise is essential for a healthy immune system. Maintaining a healthy immune system requires regular motion.
Heart disease has been linked to prolonged sitting. According to one study, men who watch more than 23 hours of television per week are 64% more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than men who watch only 11 hours per week.
Some experts say that people who don’t move around much and stay still for long periods of time are 147% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
Diabetes research has shown that just five days in bed can make your body less sensitive to insulin, which will make your blood sugars rise more than is healthy. According to research, those who spend more time sitting have a 112% higher risk of developing diabetes.
Thoracic deep vein
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can be brought on by prolonged sitting, as in the case of a protracted flight or road trip. A blood clot that develops in the veins of your leg is called a deep vein thrombosis.
DVT is a major issue because, should a piece of a blood clot in a leg vein break off and move, it could cut off blood flow to your lungs and result in a pulmonary embolism. Medical emergencies like this one might result in serious complications or even death.
Long hours of sitting might cause varicose veins or spider veins (a smaller version of varicose veins). This is due to the fact that sitting causes your legs’ blood to pool.
The majority of the time, varicose veins do not cause any health problems. Clots of blood can sometimes form because of them, which can be a very bad thing.
stiff shoulders and neck
Spending a lot of time slumped over a computer keyboard can cause neck and shoulder pain and stiffness. It is no surprise that there is an alarming rise in frozen shoulder cases and alarmingly one in every three people after the age of 45 years is now facing this problem.
Results from the National Health Survey reveal:
- 24.5% of adults between the ages of 18 and 64 reached the recommended levels of physical exercise.
- Less than 10% of 15–17-year-old Australian kids meet the daily physical activity recommendation of 60 minutes.
- Less than one-third of kids and teenagers watch more than two hours of television every day.
- Nearly half (49%) of those with jobs ages 18 to 64 said they spent most of the day sitting down at their jobs.
Children and adolescents
According to the Australian Health Survey, young children (2–4 years old) spend an average of 6 hours a day being active and 1.5 hours a day in front of a screen. According to the Australian Health Survey, young children (2–4 years old) spend an average of 6 hours a day being active and 1.5 hours a day in front of a screen.
When children and young people were included in the poll, these figures significantly changed (aged 5–17 years). They engage in physical activity for just one and a half hours per day while spending more than two hours in front of screens.
As kids got older, they spent less time being active and more time doing things in front of a screen.
A computer, television, or video game console was present in at least one bedroom of every kid and young person (aged 2–17) who was surveyed. For children aged 15 to 17, that proportion increased to 75%.
The age group of 15 to 17 years had the lowest likelihood of completing 12,000 steps per day, with only 7% doing so. Younger kids (ages 5 to 11) were significantly more likely to walk throughout the day (at around 23 percent).
53% of adults between the ages of 18 and 24 were considered to be active enough by the Australian Health Survey.
People have a tendency to become less active as they get older. The group of people aged 65 and up was the least active. They only did physical activities for about 20 minutes a day.
In Australia, just 42% of adults 65 and older reached the recommended levels of physical exercise.
The likelihood that someone had exercised enough increased if they:
- Were more affluent rated their health as “great”
- They did not smoke or quit smoking,
- Did not have a job that required a lot of sitting down, such as clerical or administrative work, watched less television,
- Used the internet less frequently than the average person.
- They were in the normal or underweight range of body mass index rather than the obese range (13 hours and 9 hours per week, respectively).
The daily average number of steps for adults was 7,400. Less than half of people walked 10,000 steps per day.
How much sitting do we do?
Inactivity is the cause of more than three million avoidable deaths around the world every year, or 6% of all deaths. It is the fourth most common reason for non-communicable disease-related deaths.
Additionally, it is the root cause of between 21 and 25% of cases of breast and colon cancer, 27% of cases of diabetes, and roughly 30% of cases of ischemic heart disease. In Australia, physical inactivity is second only to cigarette use as a cause of cancer.
How may the risks of sitting for your health be avoided?
You still have time to change your behavior and improve your health if you don’t get enough exercise each day. For example, you may include additional physical activity in your day-to-day routine.
There are many different methods by which you can incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, including the following:
- Leave the car at home and go for a walk or ride on your bike. Longer distances can eventually be covered by walking or riding a bike.
- Take the stairs, or at the very least, climb them on foot, rather than using the elevator or escalator to get to the next level.
- Get off the bus at the next stop, and then continue your walk back towards the previous stop, your actual destination. You should park further away from where you need to go and then continue walking.
- Determine how long it takes you to walk one kilometer; you might discover that you can get where you’re going more quickly on foot than by waiting for a bus or other kind of transportation.
Get moving activities
Before beginning any new hobbies, talk to your doctor if you’re new to physical activity or if you have a health condition. They can aid you in choosing the activities that are ideal for you. Learn more about starting a physical activity routine by reading.
If you’re going to be exercising outside, protect your skin from the sun by using sunscreen and donning UV-protective attire, such as hats.
Be engaged at work
- You can move around at work more than you might think.
- Take the stairs rather than the elevator.
- Instead of emailing your coworkers, go chat with them in person.
- If you can, take your lunch break away from your desk and go for a quick stroll outdoors and Plan meetings while strolling.
Don’t let inclement weather keep you from exercising! Exercises involving your own body weight include squats, sit-ups, and lunges.
You could also attempt indoor activities like:
- swimming while dancing in an indoor pool
- Pilates and martial arts
- indoor rock climbing squash
- Cut back on your sedentary habits
Here are some easy suggestions to keep you active when at home:
- When cleaning up, take small trips rather than carrying everything all at once.
- To remind you to get up and move, set your television’s timer to turn off an hour earlier than usual.
- While on the phone, move around.
- While watching your favorite television shows, get up and iron.
- Listen to audiobooks while you walk, clean, or work in the garden rather than sitting down to read.
- Get off the bus or train one stop early and walk the remaining distance to your destination.
If you hold a job at an office:
- While reading emails or reports, stand up.
- Get up from your workstation to dispose of anything by moving the trash can away from it.
- When making conference calls, use the speaker phone and move around the room.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only, and no medical advice should be inferred from it. Before changing your diet or adding supplements, please talk to your doctor.
The author’s views are his or her own. The facts and opinions in the article have been taken from various articles and commentaries available in the online media and Eastside Writers does not take any responsibility or obligation for them.
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