Is prolonged sitting harmful to health
In a world where we can do almost everything (sell, buy, learn, teach etc) with few clicks on our computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices, driving to and fro, watching TV, sitting has become our default posture.
On the average, people working at their desk can spend up to 10 hours or more on sitting daily (the sedentary workers such as bankers, receptionist etc) while average adult spends between 50% and 70% of their day sitting down.
Today, I want to tell you the health hazards that prolonged sitting can cause, if you are interested definitely keep reading.
Prolonged sitting can lead to;
- Weight gain: prolong sitting makes you immobile hence there is no use of energy/calories. prolong sitting decreases lipoprotein lipase activity which reduces the ability of the body to burn fat and the body will be using carbohydrates consumed as energy, leading to excess fat in the body(obesity)
- Heart disease: fat blocks blood vessels leading to the reduction of the diameter of the lumen carrying blood, leading to reduced blood flow to the muscles of the heart that can result in ischemic chest pain. Also, reduction in the lumen of the blood vessels leads to increase in blood pressure.
- Bone and Muscle thinning: Have you heard of this saying “if you don’t use it, you will lose it”? That is exactly what happens to our bones and muscles when we sit more than we walk/run, making you prone to falls/injuries.
- Poor blood circulation: Prolonged sitting slows down the rate at which blood circulates in the body leading to a varicose vein, swollen ankles, and deep venous thrombosis.
- Diabetes: A new study has shown that there is a link between prolonged sitting and diabetes, even if you have a regular routine workout time. Prolonged sitting was also linked to a higher risk of death from all causes, but the strongest link was to diabetes because the weakened muscles can lead to lowered insulin sensitivity (the cell’s response to insulin will become slower)
- General body pain: I’m sure you also can attest to this when you sit for a long period of time you start feeling pains at the neck region, lower back pain, shoulder pain and even leg pain.
- Some types of cancer: Some cancers have been linked to prolonged sitting e.g lung, colon, breast, uterine, and endometrial cancer.
We have linked so many health issues with genes, poor diet, poor environment etc but with what I mentioned above, you can see that our daily lifestyle/behaviour plays a major role in most health problems.
If by the nature of your job you have to sit for a long time, kindly do any of these;
- Take a break from sitting every 30 minutes.
- Stand while talking on the phone or watching television.
- If you work at a desk, try a standing desk — or improvise with a high table or counter.
- Go for lunch breaks or take intermittent breaks even if it is as low as 2 mins to stretch
Do you have any other way different from the above way out I mentioned? kindly tell me, I look forward to reading from you.
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lots of love,
Adenike Oladimeji (RN).