How Does Sitting For A Long Time Affect Your Health

By Collins Nwokolo Thursday, 14 January 2016

How does sitting for a long time affect your health

Everyone spends at least one fourth of their day sitting(except those on wheel chairs). Whether we are watching the television, working or engaging, It involves sitting.
Situations and circumstances can make you sit for a long time. How does prolonged sitting affect your health? Does sitting for a long time really affect your health in a bad way? and What can you do about it?
You will find the answers to all these questions soon enough. What you will read won't be complicated. It will be comprehensive and straight to the point.
So please let's find out:

How does sitting for a long time affect your health?
Well according to extensive studies and investigations over the years, sitting for a long time is known to:


1. Increase the risk of cancer.

Excessive sitting for prolonged periods may increase your risk of breast, colon and endometrial cancers. This could be due to excess insulin production, which encourages cell growth, or probably due to the fact that regular movement boosts antioxidants in your body that may destroy potential cancer-causing free radicals.
Additionally, increased cancer risk is believed to be linked to weight gain and alterations of metabolic or hormone activities, which promotes cancer.


2. Increase the risk of heart diseases

If you sit for a long time, blood flows at a much slower rate and muscles tend to burn less fat, which makes it very easy for fatty acids to occlude around your heart. According to research  published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology , it was  shown that women who sit for 10 or more hours a day may have a significantly greater risk of developing heart disease than those who sit for five hours or less.

Let's face the facts when we are more active our heart will beat faster and become more healthy, but when you are mostly stationary how do you expect your heart to be healthy.


How does sitting for a long time affect your health

3. Lead to various posture related problems

It absolutely normal for you to hold your neck and head forward while you work with computer or stare at the television. This can lead to strains to your cervical vertebrae or spine along with permanent imbalances, which can often lead to neck strain, pain at the shoulders and back.
It would be interesting to know that+ sitting puts more pressure on your spine than standing does, and that has a harmful on your back healt,h it is even worse if you're sitting hunched in front of a computer. It's estimated that 40 percent of people with back pain have spent long hours at their computer each day.
The bones of your back are meant to expand and contract as you move, which basically allows them to absorb blood and nutrients. When you sit, the bones if your back are  going to be compressed and can lose flexibility over some time. Sitting excessively can also increase your risk of herniated disks.
Your hips could also suffer from prolonged sitting, they become stiff and limited in range of motion because they are rarely extended.


4. Affect your mental well-being

Based on a study conducted in Australia, men who sat for more than six hours at work tend to have psychological distresses which includes tiredness, restlessness and nervousness.
The reasons behind this effects on mental health are not well understood.
But what I know is that your brain function slows  down when your body is sedentary for too long and that your brain will receive little oxygen to the blood. This is needed to trigger the release of brain and mood-enhancing chemicals.


5. Increase the risk of diabetes and other related problems.

Your body's capability to respond to insulin is adversely affected by just one day of excess sitting, which can cause  your pancreas to produce many amount of insulin, and this may lead to diabetes.
Research published in Diabetologia found that those people who sat for the longest periods of time were twice as likely to have diabetes compared to those who sat for lesser periods. Sitting for more than eight hours a day has also been associated with a 90 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore sitting down after you might have finished eaten causes your abdominal contents to compress, slowing down digestion. Sluggish digestion, in turn, will lead to bloating, cramping, and constipation.


Does sitting for a long time really affect my health in a bad way?

I know that with all of these points mentioned above ,you'd probably feel that it's all bad.
Well according to a recent research from the University of Exeter. which suggests that sitting for long period is not as bad as you think it is.
They say that the problem lies in the absence of movement rather than the time spent sitting itself.


Bottom line
After much said. We can conclude that sitting for a long time can affect your health badly. So what can you do?


How does sitting for long time affect your health

What can you do?
Am sure this is the most relevant question, which we want to find the answer to.
First and foremost, the best thing you can do is to exercise. To make up for all the time you spend sitting, engaging in some form if physical exercise will help a lot.
You can also learn how improve and maintain a proper posture while sitting.  Also stretch always.


Thanks for reading. Please leave your comments below and remember to share.




Image Credits: Fotolia
Nwokolo Collins

Hi, My name is Nwokolo Collins, I am a passionate health enthusiast, I write amazing health articles with sufficient humour.

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