Most of us spend more than six hours sitting in front of our computers every day, and gaining weight is not the only result. Constant sitting causes short and long term effects on your body. Read on to know how you are damaging your health sitting all day.
The Dangers of Sitting for Long Hours:
Weak Legs and Glutes:
Are you gonna lose them? When you sit at your desk in front of the computer for 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 a strong leg and glute muscles to stabilize you, your body is at risk of injury.
When you move around your muscles to release molecules like lipoprotein lipase, which helps process the fats and sugars you eat. But when you sit at your computer screen all day, the release of these molecules is lessened and your rear end is at greater risk of widening, according to research. You’re also at greater risk for metabolic syndrome, even if you exercise. In a study, men who spent long hours sitting than usual gained more weight around the middle, which is the most dangerous place to store fat.
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Tight Hips and a Bad Back:
Sitting causes your hip flexors to shorten, and your seated position can also hurt your back, particularly if you have bad posture or don’t use an ergonomic chair. Also, poor posture while sitting can cause compression on the discs in your spine and can lead to premature degeneration, which results in chronic pain.
Anxiety and Depression:
Lesser understood than some of the physical effects of sitting, are the mental effects. But the risk of both depression and anxiety is higher in people who sit the most. Your brain function will actually slow when you’re sedentary for long periods of time. This could be because the mental health benefits of fitness are lacking when one spends their days sitting down rather than moving. If so, these risks could be mitigated with regular exercise.
Risk of Cancer:
Emerging studies suggest that prolonged sitting can increase your risk of certain types of cancer, including lung, uterine, and colon cancers. The reasons for this aren’t entirely clear.
Did you know that sitting can hurt your heart, potentially leading to cardiovascular disease. One study found that men who spent more than 23 hours per week watching television had a 64 percent greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than men who only watched television for 11 hours. Experts say people who sit more have a 147 percent higher risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke.
112 percent increased risk of diabetes for people who spend more time sitting. A study shows that the effects of just five days of bed rest, researchers saw increased insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.
When you sit at your desk for a longer period can cause blood to pool in the legs. This can lead to varicose veins, or spider veins, a smaller version of the former. However, in general not harmful themselves, these swollen and visible veins can be unsightly. In rare cases, they can lead to more serious conditions, like blood clots.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT):
Deep vein thrombosis is a type of blood clot that’s most common in the legs. When part of this clot breaks off, it can cut off the flow of blood to other parts of the body such as your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. This is a medical emergency that can lead to major complications or even death. Sitting for too long, even on a long road trip, can cause DVT.
Rigid Shoulders and Neck:
As with your legs, butt, and lower back, your shoulders and neck will also suffer from prolonged sitting. And this is true if you’re hunched over looking at a computer screen.