Facts About Sitting All Day
- In an average, people spend nearly 8.5 hours a day sitting in front of screens.
- The daily working-life calculated on an average is nearly 7.5 hours.
- Sitting indoors also leads to increase risk of having skin cancer.
- Constantly sitting for long hours increases your bodies wider.
- Sitting for long hours lead to chronic disorders like heart disease, cancer, blood pressure, etc.
- Excess sitting might reduce your life span to three hours every day.
- Sitting for more hours a day would lead to disturbance in your mental health, making it poor.
- Obesity and metabolic syndrome are popular side effects of sitting for hours in a day.
Sitting All Day! Here Is What It Does To Your Health And Body
The world these days is mostly depended on electronic items and other advanced items. As a result, most of the working category spend hours and hours sitting on a single chair opposite the computers. This had made their work quite easy and quick, but have you ever noticed that sitting for long hours would be harmful to your health and body!
Yes, this is true. Spending hours on a desk in a single position can lead to diseases like diabetes, cancer, obesity, etc. The worst effect of the same can also lead to death. It also reduces the bone density. Sitting for long term would increase the blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and the buildup of the toxics. Hence, it is necessary to take a break from the long working hours, and gift yourself a healthy life through exercises and correct sitting poses.
Health Side-Effects Of Sitting For Long Hours
Obesity and joint pains are commonly known side-effects of sitting for long periods, however, there are few more that are still secret killers. Let’s know how sitting affects your life.
1. Makes Your Legs And Glutes Week
Have you marked any tightness in your joints when you stand up suddenly after sitting for hours! Yes, the reason is that if you don’t use your legs and glutes, you would make them stiff and also lose them in serious conditions. When you sit a complete day, you don’t use your powerful lower body muscles. As a result, your muscles suffer from downfall and get weakened. When your legs are not strong, the glute muscles also lose their strength which leads to injuries due to a decrease in stability.
2. Increase In Your Weight
The movement in your body has an effect on your muscles too. When your muscles move, they release some molecules like lipoprotein lipase, the help in the processing of fats and sugar consumed by you. When you spend hour sitting, the release of molecules reduces, which gives a negative impact on the body. This increases your weight, and can also increase the risk of metabolic syndrome. When it comes to men, if they sit for long hours, they are likely to increase their middle tummy portion that is a harmful place where fat is stored.
3. Negative Impact On Your Hips And Back
Not only your legs and glutes, but your hips and back also have negative effects when you sit for a long time. Sitting shortens the flexors of your hips, as well as, it also harms your back. The conditions worsen when you sit with an incorrect posture or are in the wrong chair. The postures also have a good and bad effect on your spine by creating compression on the discs and can result in premature degeneration, that comes with chronic pain. In this way, sitting also harms your hips and back badly.
4. Brings Anxiety And Depression
Sitting for long hours not only has physical side-effects but also has mental side-effects too. People who spend hours sitting in a chair are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. The reason behind this is that when you continuously sit, your mind lacks the exercises and health benefits, that is obtained when you make movements. Hence, next time you face depression or anxiety, give yourself some routine exercise to get rid of such mental situations.
5. Increases The Risk Of Cancer
This might shock you, however, it is a fact that sitting for hours can increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Spending nearly 6 hours a day have chances to develop cancer by 36%. Not only colorectal cancer, it can also result to lung cancer, colon cancer, uterine cancer, etc. Sitting in excess increases the growth of cells that may lead to cancer. By making movements, the body naturally boosts the antioxidants that kill the cells that develop cancer. Thus, to avoid cancer, keep yourself moving.
6. Leads To Heart Disorder
Sitting hours on the desk is also harmful for your heart. Studies have proved that sitting for more than 23 hours a week increases the risk of developing heart disorders, heart attack and also strokes. When you sit for long hours, the fat in your body is less burned, as well as, the blood also flows with slowly. As a result, the fatty acids would be able to clog your heart easily. It also increases your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which leads to cardiovascular disorders.
7. Risk Of Diabetes
Yes, diabetes is also a condition that may affect you if you sit for long hours. When your body moves, the pancreases produce insulin that is responsible for carrying glucose to the cells that provide you with energy. However, when you sit for long hours, the cells remain idle and don’t give any response to the insulin. As a result, pancreas produce more insulin that get stored leading to diabetes. Hence, make regular movements to avoid diabetes.
8. Varicose Veins
Sitting for long hours can also gift you with varicose veins. Sitting would reduce the circulation of blood in your legs which would create fluids leading to blood clots in your veins in legs. As a result, you might experience swollen ankles and varicose veins. Also known as spider veins, serious conditions of such blood clots can lead to deep vein thrombosis.
9. Stiffness In Shoulders And Neck
Sitting for long hours can also damage your shoulder and neck by making them stiff. If you are sitting and bending towards the keyboard while working, this would surely affect your neck as it would have an effect on the cervical vertebrae. Permanent imbalances are one of the harmful effects of sitting long hours. In this situation, the neck only is not affected. It also affects the back and the shoulder muscles, mostly the trapezius, that is the connection between the neck and the shoulders.
10. Muscle Degeneration
While you walk or stand, the abdominal muscles also perform their functions properly. However, when you sit, the abdominal muscles stop their functioning. The tight back muscles and the abs form a posture that affects your natural arch of the spine, leading to conditions like hyper lordosis. Not only your spine, but the hips also get affected. When your hips are flexible, they help in maintaining proper balance. But when you sit, they become tight and short, which limits the motion range. Decrease in the mobility of the hips can also lead to falling due to imbalance.
11. Disk Damage
Yes, it is true that when you sit for long hours, the lumbar disks are also affected. The disk contains a muscle named psoas, which moves through the abdominal cavity. This muscle when gets tight, pulls the upper lumbar spine in front position. As a result, the complete body weight relies on the ischial tuberosity, and doesn’t get bifurcated on the arch of the spine. This leads to harmful situations like herniated lumbar disks.
12. Damages Your Brain
When your body is in motion, the muscles also move and provide your body with fresh oxygen and blood by pumping it continuously. When you sit down for long hours, the process of blood pumping and circulation slows down. The changes also effect the brain and mood through the chemicals the brain releases at the time of pumping. Hence, sitting for long hours would not only have a great impact on your mood, but would also affect its functioning.
13. Kidney Problems
Studies have proved that people who sit for hours also suffer from kidney diseases. Working for hours sitting on a single place leads to dysfunction of the kidney that hinders the smooth functioning of the kidney. It is hence recommended to walk after every three hours, or take intervals and stand for reducing the damage to the kidney.
Hence, sitting for long hours is not only harmful to your body, but also for the smooth functioning of various body organs. People sitting for long hours should work on their sitting postures, and also take breaks at regular interval by walking a few steps to avoid the problems that might catch you by sitting for hours.
Tips For Prevent Back Pain At Work
Yes, it is true that the posture you sit in also matters in maintaining the health. If your back pains or your knees give a cry when you get up after long hours work, you surely need to work on your posture, as well as, check the chair you are using.
Here are some effective tips to help you with a healthy sitting.
1. Look After Your Head And Neck
Yes, your head and neck are crucial body parts to be maintained while working for long hours on the chair. While working on computers, make a point to keep your head at the level of the computer’s monitor. This would help in maintaining the position of the neck, as you will need to slightly move the neck downwards when required. As a result, your neck and head would receive very less stress as compared to looking down continuously.
2. Place Your Elbows And Arms Properly
For a correct posture for your arms and elbows, should also be placed in proper positions. Resting our arms on the arm rest would surely provide you with a good support, but that can also be harmful as it can result to painful shoulders. Instead, make a proper arm rest position that is comfortable for your shoulders and back. Place the keyboard and the mouse at equal distances that would provide less stress to the elbows and arms. Make an ideal 90-degree angle with your arms, and make sure your forearms are in a parallel position with the floor. This would make your job easy, comfortable and stretch less.
3. Posture Of Your Legs
While sitting on a chair, if your hips are in a lower position than your knees, it is time to change your chair. Even if your hips are quite higher than the knees, it is a wrong position. The position of your knees should only be slightly lower than the hips, which allows your thighs to be parallel to the floor. The lower legs should be in a perpendicular position. So, if you are feeling uncomfortable with your knee and thigh position, change your chair immediately.
4. Feet On The Ground
While sitting on the chair for long hours, make sure your feet are firmly fixed on the ground. This gives your ankle a 90-degree angle. If your feet are swinging in the air while you sit, the gravitational force would affect the natural curve of your back by pulling it backwards. You can also place an empty box under your feet for making a firm contact for your feet.
5. Look After Your Lower Back
Sitting on the chair for long hours with your back bent, would have a negative effect on your reverse C curve of your lower back. To avoid this, you can place a pillow on the lower back portion of the chair. For an advanced option, you can replace your simple chairs with the advanced back supportive chairs available in the market. Hence, help your lower back curve in a natural way by sitting firmly with a pillow.
Apart from all these, you can also carry few exercises by sparing a few minutes from your schedule to stretch your back and legs after or before sitting for hours. Some of the quick exercises are:
- You can sit on an exercise ball or a backless stool by sitting straight with legs firmly on the ground, to support your muscles in working properly. The feet would help to manage your weight while you sit in a correct position for a few minutes.
- Spare some time from your routine to stretch your hip flexors. Carrying out such sets three times in a day would give you desired results.
- Take breaks from the continuous sitting position. While watching television, get up and walk a few steps during commercials. This would help you in burning two times the calories you would have gathered while sitting.
- Keep a proper balance between your standing and sitting positions at work. Make a point to stand up after nearly half an hour and take few steps to regain the loss of sitting firmly for hours. You can also stand and stretch your legs at your seat, or walk to the pantry for some water.
- Yoga positions like cow and cat have proved to be quite effective to improve the flexion and extension in your back while you sit and work.
Yes, to avoid the harmful side-effects that are caused due to long sitting hours can be reduced with the help of regular workouts and yoga sessions that would stretch your complete body and improving its functioning. If you are running shortage of time, there are also yoga asanas available that would help you in merely few minutes for decreasing the long-term side effects.
A healthy diet, daily workouts, proper sitting postures. Add this features to your routine and protect your body from the harmful side-effects of sitting for long hours.