Sitting for several hours at a stretch is harmful for your overall health
We live in the world where everything gets done on our finger tips. Undoubtedly modern technology has made life easy. It has provided us with the luxury to stay relaxed at all times. Although human body is designed to be active and being seated for several hours has its consequences. Prolonged sitting not only limits the number of calories you burn but also negates the number of calories you burnt exercising. When the big muscles of your lower body are inactive your body goes through certain physiological changes. These changes have an effect your metabolism and cause an increase in your blood sugar levels.
Another type of movement known as NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis), that is any form of light activity such as standing, walking, running errands or doing chores. The rapid change in the lifestyle over the years due to technology, NEAT has decreased.
Prolonged sitting can cause more health problems that you can imagine.
- Shortens your life – When you are seated you use less energy than standing or moving around. Sitting for long has a number of health concerns which includes obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol levels – that make up to metabolic syndrome. It also increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer.
- Walking disability – Being seated for several hours affects your blood circulation. It can make your lower body feel numb and that may result in walking disability in a longer run.
- Sleep and anxiety – At night, if you are engaged with your screen for long without moving. The blue light emanating from your screen suppresses the release of melatonin in the brain leading to a lower quality of sleep or insomnia. This can make you feel anxious and your anxiety might spike.
- Harmful to your spine – The seated position puts a lot of stress on your spine especially when you slouch. No matter how comfortable you feel, sitting for long has an effect on your spine.
- You tend to gain more weight – Your screen time could be the reason why you are gaining so much weight. Prolonged sitting slows down your body’s metabolism which results in weight gain.
- Your odds of Diabetes rise – Sitting for long may change the way your body reacts to insulin. It the hormone that helps burn sugar and carbohydrate for energy. It keeps your body sugar level from getting too high or too low and sitting disrupts this process.
- You could get Varicose Veins – They are large swollen looking veins that often appear in the leg and feet. This happens when the valves in the veins do not work properly, because of which blood flow is affected. For some, varicose veins could be a cosmetic concern but for some it could cause pain, discomfort, muscle cramp, swelling in the lower legs and skin discolouration around varicose veins.
- You could get Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) – A blood clot that develops within the deep vein of the body usually in the leg. It can cause swelling or leg pain. It may also occur with no symptoms. However, DVT can be very serious as the blood clots in your veins could break loose and through your bloodstream lodge in your lungs.
Here are 5 ways to avoid prolong sitting
- Every 30 minutes make a point to change your place or stretch. If you are home then move around. You may also set an alarm as a reminder so that you don’t end up sitting for several hours.
- Walk after your meals. It will help lower the post meal blood glucose levels and aid digestion.
- While watching TV, consider stretching, touching your toes or moving around during commercials.
- Walk around or stand when you are on the phone. Instead of driving, walk to the local store.
- Take up active hobbies such as DIY and gardening.
Any form of physical activity will help maintain your health and mental wellbeing. You will burn more calories that will lead to weight loss and increased energy. The impact of leisurely movement can be profound, especially as you age.