Did you know that the mere act of sitting can, and does, lead to an early grave? Sitting is probably the most passive activity we engage in on a day to day basis, right next to sleeping, and it is also one of the few activities that is guaranteed to destroy our body — all without us complaining about it. A sore back is the least of your problems if you are stuck at an office job where sitting is mandatory. We decided to look into the facts and show how sitting can actually lead to a variety of health related issues that will end up slowly killing you!
Sitting is terrible for weight management.
It doesn’t take a physical therapist to point out that sitting is just about the least energy emitting action you could take. In fact, when you sit down at your desk your body drops to burning just a single calorie per hour. Consider that your candy bar will have over 100 calories and you can see why this might be problematic. If you are interested in keeping your low cost health insurance then you might want to cut back on the snacks while at your desk, because losing weight is much harder than just keeping it off to begin with. Our advice: avoid the chocolate gift baskets, focus on a weight loss program, and stick to healthy snacks while at your chair.
Prolonged periods of sitting lead to a host of chronic diseases.
Your individual health insurance will never be as low as it is when you are healthy and the best way to keep the price down is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sitting down for long periods of time has been directly linked to various chronic diseases showing up later on in life. A survey done on Australian men, with a sample size of over 60 thousand individuals, showcased a direct correlation between extended sitting and various, serious chronic diseases. The studies showed that individuals who spent too much time sitting ended up dealing with high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, and other heart disease related issues.
Your body begins to shut down, literally.
When you sit down for more than a couple hours at a time your body hits ‘red alert’ and starts to seriously shut down. Even the best weight loss diet can’t push back against the damage your body undertakes when you are sitting. After just two hours of sitting your positive cholesterol will plummet by around 20%. The good enzymes in your body that attack fat and help break it down also stutter to a halt, dropping by 90% after just an hour or two of sitting. As you sit there your body is experiencing inner turmoil. You really can’t do too much to prevent this mini physical attack but you can try to alleviate it by taking frequent breaks to either stand up or take a short walk, getting your blood flowing yet again.
Sitting down lowers your life expectancy.
With scientific studies occurring around the world it is no surprise when we hear startling information on an almost nightly basis. The latest bit of information shows that sitting down can directly lead to a reduction in your life expectancy. That fact should startle you a little bit, right? All of the holiday gift baskets in the world won’t mean much if you have to find your way to an early grave. Studies show that extended sitting (3+ hours) on a day to day basis will lead to a reduction in a man’s lifespan by around 2 to 3 years. This isn’t exactly the kind of info you want to learn on your first Monday morning back to work.
You are sitting down more than you realize.
The primary concern when it relates to sitting down is aimed pretty heavily at your day job. If you work at an office where you have a desk then you probably end up sitting for 7 or 8 hours per day. This is obviously in the red zone and a major cause for concern. However, what most people don’t realize is that they sit a ton when not at work. How much do you sit while you are driving? How much time are you spending on your couch, sitting up in bed, or sitting at dinner throughout the week?
Sitting is considered the ‘new smoking’.
Believe it or not there used to be a time when smoking was considered the healthy, cool, and pleasant thing to do. Smoking used to be more prevalent in our society just a 30 or 40 years ago. Since then studies have come out to show how horrible smoking is for you and as a result the amount of smokers has declined dramatically. Now scientists are pointing to sitting as the new ‘unseen danger’. It is inarguable at this point in time that sitting down has negative health effects. Now we just have to spend time making sure that as many people know it as possible — a tough thing to do when sitting is such an innocuous action. In order for there to be real change to the way that sitting is affecting us in our day to day lives, people need to start looking at sitting as a potentially dangerous activity — a hard sale.
Exercise does not offset the dangers to sitting.
Perhaps the most alarming fact about the dangers of prolonged sitting is that there is no way to offset the damage you are doing to your body. The most active athletes will still attain the same kind of damage as the more sedentary folks as long as they are both sitting the same amount of time. While it is good for your body to add in some physical exercise, like going for a bike ride or hitting the gym, you still need to address the fact that sitting for prolonged periods of time is dangerous.
Excess sitting can degrade your mental health.
Have you ever spent a long day at your computer only to get up feeling groggy, and slightly punch drunk? Sitting down and staring at a screen all day is not good for your health physically and it is just as bad for your health mentally. A study done by the Annals of Behavioral Medicine showed an association between prolonged sitting and other sedentary activities with mental wellness issues. The best thing you can do is make sure that you are always working your brain out and taking breaks from sitting down. Partake in word games, trivia, and other small games you can play at your desk to offset potential issues.
Cancer is more common in those who sit for too long.
We’ve talked about how diseases tend to catch up with you if you find yourself sitting for prolonged periods of time, but let’s drive the point home here. In a study done by the American Journal of Epidemiology it was revealed that cancer is more prevalent in those who sit for prolonged periods of time. Another study shows that excess sitting is just as bad as smoking for you when it comes to heart attacks. Let that roll around in your head for awhile.
Sitting is terrible if you are afflicted with a disease.
It doesn’t seem very fair but if you find yourself hit with a potentially life threatening disease, prolonged periods of sitting will do you no favors. A study by the Journal of Clinical Oncology revealed that increased leisure time, typically to cope with the disease, led to a greater risk of dying by a rather dramatic margin. The takeaway here is that you need to avoid being sedentary throughout your life, even after potential diseases rear their heads.
The human body isn’t made for extended sitting.
We are sure that evolution will eventually catch up, but right now the human body is what it is; something not made for extended sitting periods. Roughly a hundred years ago you would rarely find someone sitting for more than an hour or two at a time. We were too busy working farms and physical labor. Technology has changed that and now we are seeing the downside.
Poor posture will destroy your body.
Having good posture is a hallmark of your wellbeing. Those of us who have good posture will undoubtedly be healthy later on in life, at least in comparison to those of us who slump our shoulders. The same holds true for sitting. You want to sit at a slight recline, roughly 135 degrees, while at your desk to prevent back strain and neck pain.
Sitting is an overall death trap.
No matter how many horrifying facts we throw at you, the core idea is the same: sitting down will lead to a sooner death whether you like it or not. A study by the Archives of Internal Medicine revealed that prolonged sitting led to a 40% in risk of death within the next three years. Exercise can help limit that percentage a little bit, but the core fact remained — prolonged sitting is a deadly habit.