How Sitting Down Can Ruin Your Health
Sitting Down For More Than 6 Hours Per Day Can Cause Serious Health Risks. I read a rather disturbing article yesterday, as I was sitting at my desk. It was about how sitting is essentially killing me.
Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic. I mean I knew that sitting all day is not necessarily healthy, but I didn’t know how unhealthy it actually is. This is especially true for people who have desk jobs, then go home and sit on the couch, then sit at the dinner table, then sit in bed to read. I don’t think that most people realize how frequently they actually sit in a day.
The LifeHacker article that enlightened me, written by Thorin Klosowski, explained that if you sit for more than six hours a day, you are virtually increasing your risk of heart disease by 64 percent. Even more frightening, you could be depleting your lifespan by seven, YES SEVEN, quality years! In fact, most people sit for more than 15 hours a day. Yikes!
Now before you get a standing desk or quit your desk job all together, consider the bright side: these effects can be counteracted. Phew! But first, let me give you a broader understanding of why, or rather, how sitting is so detrimental for your health.
According to an infographic provided by Medical Billing and Coding, right when you sit down, a number of things happen that could be detrimental to your health in the long run. First of all, sitting shuts off the electrical activity in your leg muscles. Additionally, it drops caloric burn to only 1 calorie per minute and also reduces those fat tackling enzymes by 90 percent.
As time goes on and you continue sitting more than six hours per day, more long term side effect occur, including escalating cholesterol levels, weight gain and loss of bone mass, After 10 or more years of over-sitting, you can even increase risk of cancer and heart disease. As bad as this all sounds, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Thankfully, Klosowski explains, if we can just remember to do two things each day, we can combat the sickly effects of sitting:
- Stand once every hour.
- Get active for 30 minutes a day.
Simple right? Even better, those 30 minutes of exercise can be broken up throughout the day! Ten minutes here and ten minutes there can quickly add up to help your body recover from a long day of sitting. This can be done by walking around the office, parking further away than normal, or if possible, take the green way to work by walking or biking. Even public transportation usually allows you to walk or stand more than you would if you were to drive your car. Klosowski also suggests investing in a pedometer to gain a more accurate idea of how much you’re walking each day, and see your new efforts pay off.
The Bottom Line
Sitting is bad if done for too long, and this isn’t necessarily new news. The problem is that most of us sit way more than we realize, which isn’t healthy. But with just a few simple efforts incorporated in our daily routine, we can fend off the repercussions of sitting and keep our bodies standing tall for the long run.
For more great tips for a healthy lifestyle, check out more our FeelGoodNow Health News articles.