Sitting and Sleeping are perhaps the most comfortable activities for the human body but prolong sitting and sleeping can have adverse effects too. "As the longer, it takes, the harmful it becomes".
Surprisingly, half of the working population spends 6-8 hours per day sitting at their desks every day. Sitting down for long may have short and long term effects on your body and health, making this potentially deadly activity.
Let’s understand how harmful it can be sitting all day-:
1. Make legs weaker - If you sit all day, you don’t use your powerful lower body muscles to hold you up. This leads to gluteal muscle degeneration. Weak legs lead to increased fatigue even on small exertion. As it's been rightly said - If you don’t use them, you lose them!
2. Results in Weight Gain - Physical activity helps in releasing molecules like lipoprotein lipase which processes the sugars and fats you eat. Continuous sitting decreases the release of these molecules and results in widening your middle area which is the most hazardous place to store fat.
3. Leads to bad Back and tight Hips - Compromised posture while sitting can hurt your back and cause hip flexors to shorten and making your hip muscles tighten. If you don’t use an ergonomic chair, it also causes compression on the discs in your spine which leads to premature degeneration and chronic pain.
4. Causes anxiety and Depression - Sitting for long hours has some of the mental effects also. Research shows that the risk of depression and anxiety is higher in people who sit and sleeps the most. This could be because the mental health benefits of fitness are lacking when one spends their days sitting down rather than moving.
5. Leads to the risk of Cancer - Emerging studies suggest, though reasons aren’t entirely clear, that prolonged sitting can increase your risk of certain types of cancers like the colon, lung especially in men. It is also observed that women’s chances of developing breast, uterus, and ovary cancer were heightened if working in a sedentary job.
6. Harmful for your heart - People who sit more at the desk or watching television have a greater risk of suffering from stroke and heart attack. A study found that men who spent more than 23 hours per week watching television had a 64% greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than men who only watched television for 11 hours.
7. Potential risk of Diabetes - Prolonged sitting and sleeping can increase the risk of diabetes by 112%. Sitting impairs the body’s ability to handle blood sugars causing reduced sensitivity to insulin which carries glucose to blood cells and gives us the required energy.
8. Leads to Spider Veins & Blood clotting - Sitting for too long can cause blood to pool in the legs. This can lead to spider veins (also called varicose veins). Though generally not harmful but these visible and swollen veins can be unappealing. If not taken care of they can lead to serious conditions, like blood clots.
9. Reduces social skills- Constant sitting and interacting over the internet causes a decline in social involvement and psychological well-being. The short term result could be loneliness and it may lead to depression in the long term, you don’t get sunshine indoors which bestows Vitamin D.
10. Curse to the neck & shoulders - Prolonged, static loading of tissues over time puts undue pressure on the low back and stresses the surrounding muscles and joints. With your legs, butts, and lower back your shoulders and neck will also suffer. This is especially true if you’re hunched over looking at a computer screen.
11. It can shorten your Life - If you sit too much, your brain could look just like that of someone with dementia. Sitting also raises your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, which all play a role in the condition. Moving throughout the day can help even more than exercise to lower your risk of all these health problems. You’re more likely to die earlier from any cause if you sit for long stretches at a time. It doesn’t help if you exercise every day or not.
Worried? Here are some tips
1.) Take an active break every hour ( set reminder ).
2.) Reduce time in front of screens (TV, Computer, Phone ) that causes Digital Eye Strain.
3.) Walk when you talk on the phone ( make it a habit).
4.) Don’t sit and eat your lunch (Stand and share).
5.) Walk up to your colleagues instead of emailing or calling.
6.) Take the stairs instead of lift or escalators.
7.) Stand on the train or bus.
8.) Put your laptop on top of a box or a high table to work standing.
9.) Follow the simple hacks to take care of your health at work.
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