Right now, you’re probably sitting down reading this article on your phone, computer or iPad. Staying seated for a couple of minutes while you finish it is totally fine (actually, we encourage you to do it). However, the longer you stay seated the more agitated your body becomes. It starts counting the moments one by one until you stand up again and take a small walk. In other words, sitting is killing you and you should start moving more!
But isn’t sitting comfortable to the body? Sure, sitting for brief periods can help us rest and recover our energy. The problem arises when we sit more than we move around. This is a direct result of our new lifestyles, especially when it comes to people with office jobs. They sit all day at work, then go home and sit again to rest from their long day. Sitting for long periods is bad for you, and here are some of the reasons.
Your body isn’t built for sitting
As a matter of fact, it’s the total opposite. Our bodies are built to move. This becomes clear when we look at the human body’s structure: our bodies have more than 360 joints and around 700 skeletal muscles. These enable us to move easier, faster and more fluidly. In addition to that, our skin is elastic which allows it to adjust to our motions. In the past, our existence depended on us moving: we had to hunt, work in the fields, walk from place to place to get water… The excessive amounts of sitting became popular in our recent times and aren’t the natural way of things.
How is sitting killing you?
In so many ways. With our bodies built to move, so many things happen to us when we just sit down for most of the day. Let’s talk about some of them:
As soon as you sit down, there are many things that happen to your body:
- Electrical activity in the leg muscles shuts off
- Your calorie burning drops significantly
- Lipoprotein Lipaze, an enzyme responsible for breaking down fat, gets deactivated
With that being said, you can notice that sitting down increases your risk of obesity and in the process the risk of a cardiovascular disease.
Long term effects
The long term effects of sitting for long periods are even more dangerous. The seated position puts huge stress on your back muscles, neck, and spine. A common way of sitting is with a curved back and slumped shoulders. This position puts a lot of pressure on your spine and may cause damage to your spinal discs and the muscles holding the spine. There are countless other health issues that may arise from sitting too long: cancer, diabetes, varicose veins…
Now that you realize the dangers that prolonged sitting can pose to your health, you should start doing something about it. Be more active, move around more frequently or turn on the music and do some exercise. The important thing is: don’t let sitting kill you.