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THE 6 WAYS THAT SITTING CAN DESTROY YOUR HEALTH
By now you’ve heard the phrase “Sitting is the new smoking.”
There’s a lot to parse there -- most scientists will tell you that there’s almost nothing you can do to your body worse than lighting up over a prolonged period of time.
However, that doesn’t mean your favorite relaxed position carries no consequences. We sit an average of 9-11 hours a day, which means it’s pretty likely you’re doing it right now.
So what’s the harm? A lot, as it turns out. You’d be surprised how many ways your wellbeing can be sabotaged by sitting.
When you sit in a most chairs for a long period of time, eventually you’ll begin to slouch. And when you’re in a slouched or hunched position, you put serious strain on the discs in your back, particularly in the lower area. These discs are the cushions that protect the vertebrae from rubbing together, kind of like brake pads. You’re also straining your joints and muscles.
And the longer you sit, the worse your lower back pain gets. Prolonged sitting -- especially when you use poor posture -- can lead to sciatica, herniated discs, muscle strain, degenerative disc disease, and much more.
Prolonged sitting can have serious consequences for your heart. A study published in Circulation found that people who sat for 10+ hours usually had above-average troponin levels in their blood. Troponins are proteins produced by cardiac-muscle cells when they are hurt or dying. When a heart attack occurs, a surge of troponins are released into the bloodstream.
A large review of studies published in 2015 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, long hours of sitting was directly associated with heart disease.
Surely by now you know many of the biggest cancer-causers in our society: smoking, processed foods, air pollutants, etc. However, one you may not be aware of is sitting.
A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that people who spend much of their day sitting have a 66% higher chance of developing certain types of cancer than those who aren’t as sedentary.
https://www.healthline.com/health/lower-back-pain-when-sitting#causes https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/20/well/move/why-sitting-may-be-bad-for-your-heart.html https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/sitting-disease-how-a-sedentary-lifestyle-affects-heart-health https://time.com/2884953/sitting-can-increase-your-risk-of-cancer-by-up-to-66/
These types of cancers include bowel, endometrial, ovarian and prostate. And unfortunately, if you do sit for long periods of time, your odds of developing these cancers isn’t abated even if you exercise moderately.
If you find it difficult to recall names or dates lately, the culprit may not be old age -- it may be your desk chair. According to researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), long stretches of sedentary behavior, such as spending hours and hours in a desk chair, are linked to changes in the part of adult brains critical for memory.
Too much sitting can shrink the medial temporal lobe -- the region of the brain responsible for forming new memories. And this thinning of the brain can lead to serious diseases like dementia in middle-aged and older adults.
It’s not just excessive alcohol that can damage your liver -- too much time on your keester can harm it as well. A study, published in the Journal of Hepatology, found that people who sat for 10 or more hours a day increased their risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NALFD) by 9%.
Unsurprisingly, those who were more active were 20% less likely to develop NALFD, compared to those who did not exercise often.
When you sit, especially for hours on end, there is less demand on the circulatory system, since you are in a fixed position with little movement. As a result, the heart activity and blood flow slow down to a trickle. Maintaining a steady, upright body position while sitting further decreases blood circulation.
An insufficient blood flow causes blood to pool. And pressure on the underside of the thighs from a seat that is too high can further aggravate this. You’ve probably experienced this with your standard office chair, and it results in swollen or numb legs and eventually varicose veins. Also, a reduced blood supply to the muscles accelerates fatigue.
https://www.livescience.com/62299-sitting-sedentary-shrinks-brain-memory.html https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/sitting/sitting_overview.html https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/sitting/sitting_overview.html
Here are 3 THINGS that you can start doing today to begin reversing the negative effects of sitting
If you use a standard office chair, it’s important to keep key parts of your body aligned and supported so that you can reduce poor posture and back pain. Try to keep your feet flat on the floor and sit up straight. Look forward without straining your neck. Position your knees at the same height or slightly lower than the hips, and avoid crossing your legs. If your chair doesn’t support proper posture, you will have to make a conscious effort to sit up straight.
Break it Up.
Periodical breaks when you get up and move around may help alleviate some of the issues caused by long hours in your chair. Some call it “microbreaking”: small breaks from being stuck in one position for a prolonged period of time. Try to get up and move around your home or office for 5-10 minutes for every hour you sit.
Invest in a Better Chair.
Some chairs are better designed than others to mitigate the harmful effects of prolonged sitting. It’s important you do your research before buying one.
There are thousands upon thousands of “luxury” chairs on the markets with sleek designs and comfy seats. However, what you really need is a chair that you’ll enjoy sitting in AND one that will keep you healthy as you sit.
If you would like to see a chair that is proven to reduce back pain, improve circulation, engage the core, keep you in a comfortable & athletic position, improve digestion and fix your posture…
You can click here to learn more.