You’re more likely to have a heart attack: Researchers studied the lifestyles and behaviors of more than 17,000 men and women over 13 years and discovered people who sit for the majority of their day have a 54% greater risk of dying from a heart attack.
Another study concluded that repeated exposure to sitting in daily life is negatively associated with femoral bone mineral density in older women. Bone health is important for preventing fractures and falls, which can be serious and even fatal for older adults.
Here are 11 adverse effects on the body that can occur from sitting at your desk for too long.
It is thought excessive sitting slows the metabolism – which affects our ability to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, and metabolise fat – and may cause weaker muscles and bones. Research on astronauts in the early 70s found life in zero gravity was linked with accelerated bone and muscle loss and ageing.
There are many possible causes for sitting and standing problems, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and other health conditions. The issue may also be related to age-related muscle loss, especially for seniors who are not engaged in resistance exercise and/or do not eat enough protein.
“Persons with uninterrupted sedentary bouts of 30 minutes or more had the highest risk for death if total sedentary time also exceeded 12.5 hours per day,” noted Alter.
Exercise lite It should instead be viewed as complementary, or as an intermediate pathway toward the goal.” Older adults should be encouraged to reduce sedentary behavior by introducing activity throughout the day. Sedentary time should be broken up by standing or strolling for one or two minutes at least once an hour.
Sitting or lying down for too long increases your risk of chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Too much sitting can also be bad for your mental health. Being active is not as hard as you think.
However, a closer look reveals that the pressure on the spine is at its lowest when we are lying in the supine position (it is under eight times less pressure than when we’re sitting). It promotes most complete muscle relaxation, stress-relief and slower heartbeat.
By sitting all day, you’re not depending on your powerful lower body muscles to hold you up. This leads to muscle atrophy, which is the weakening of these muscles. Without strong leg and glute muscles to stabilize you, your body is at risk of injury.
Repeated blood pressure readings didn’t find the same difference between sitting and lying down. A study from 2018 investigated blood pressure readings in a cohort of 1,298 men. It found that both systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings were significantly higher in the seated position than when lying down.
Fortunately, there are three simple ways to counteract the effects of so much sitting.
Here are some suggestions: