Our lives have never been so sedentary as it is today. More and more people are sitting several hours each day, either on a job or playing a game. According to a report published by Journal of the American Medical Association, an average American sits for 6-8 hours daily. Unfortunately, sitting for long hours at a time is very dangerous. It significantly increases the chances of developing health issues such as heart problems, overweight, type 2 diabetes, etc. No wonder, it is tagged the new smoking though it is yet to receive as many warning calls as smoking.
One of the things people do to negate the effects of long sitting hours is exercise e.g. go for a long run after a long day but this, as good as it is, does not cancel the negative impacts of sitting for long hours daily, according to an advisory from the American Heart Association. The existing evidence about the link between health and long hours of sitting was reviewed by a group of cardiology experts; they concluded that no amount of physical activity can eliminate the health hazards of sitting for many hours daily.
What then is so wrong with sitting for hours?
The natural configuration of man tilts towards standing upright. For instance, the bowel and cardiovascular system function better in an upright position. The effects of long sitting hours are felt by several parts of the including:
Hips and Back
There is hardly a better way to start than this. The increasing incidence of back and hip pain is directly related to the higher sitting hours. Sitting for long hours, especially in a poor posture, can cause serious back problems. It can cause compression in the discs of the spine, bringing about potentially very painful premature degeneration. The hip flexor muscles shorten in a sitting position hence remaining seated for long hours can cause hip joints problems.
In this light, the importance of choosing the right chair for long hour seating cannot be overemphasized. According to a friend of mentalitch, Matthew Olarinde of https://www.allmodernfurnitureshop.com, there are chairs that are specially designed and constructed to provide adequate support for the whole body such that the user’s weight is evenly distributed. The back of these chairs is shaped and cushioned with materials that align with the natural curve of the spine hence alleviating back pain problems. They ultimately keep you in a good posture for several hours without any hassle.
Legs and Gluteals
Weakening and wasting away of the large muscles of the legs and gluteal can be caused by sitting for long periods. When either of these happens, you will have a problem stabilizing yourself hence increasing the chances of injuring yourself from strains and falls.
Staying active or muscle movements aids digestion. Long sitting hours cause you to retain more fat in your body hence bringing about weight issues. People who exercise after long sitting hours still face digestion problems such as metabolic syndrome.
Sitting for long hours significantly increases the chances of having a heart-related problem such as stroke or heart attack. Men who sit before the TV for up to 23 hours per week face a 64% higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than those who spend about half the number of hours.
Blood sugars can spike above healthy zones by lying down for just five days due to increased insulin resistance in the body. If you sit for long hours per day, you have a 112% higher risk of diabetes, according to research.
Neck and Shoulders
Neck and shoulder stiffness can be caused by long sitting hours.
Other health implications of sitting for long hours include deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, etc.
What is the way out?
According to AHA, the best advice is to sit less. It is good to exercise several hours per week but this is not enough to combat the implications of long sitting hours.
A rule of thumb is to try to walk around after every hour of sitting. In cases where this may be impossible, frequent adjustments can be very vital. Research has it that simply fidgeting while sitting can neutralize the negative health effects.
Another important thing is to invest in an ergonomic chair. It significantly improves your sitting posture hence your health.
You should also consider biking or walking to walk, especially if you have long sitting hours ahead of you.
A sedentary lifestyle is directly related to increasing health problems, e.g. back pain. Available evidence has shown that sitting is the new smoking; it may kill faster. Therefore, sit less, move more.