“Sitting” is like “Smoking” Says the Experts
Remember we have shared to you an infographic about how sitting can kill you today we will be going in-depth on how sitting can actually harm your body. Barring a few unlucky souls, most of us spend our waking hours sitting down. Think about it – the life of an average person alternates between home and work/school. And in both these instances, you hardly spend much time on your feet. At both the workplace and the school, you’re sitting at your desk; when you’re at home, you’re either on the couch, at the dinner table, or on your bed. So, you sit down a lot – what’s the big deal about that?
Well, the truth is, humans were not meant to be sedentary beings. The descendants of apes, we were designed to be hunters and gatherers, spending most of our time on our feet. But with the advent of technology like computers, automobiles, and televisions, people started to spend more time sitting down instead of standing up. The consequences of our actions are far more severe than bad posture. Sitting down can actually affect the weight of many people, and in worst case scenarios, can lower their lifespan.
Why It’s More Serious Than You Think
For this reason, sitting has been aptly termed as “the new smoking”. What’s worse is, despite our best efforts, spending hours at your desk or on the couch kills us slowly. So, even if you exercise regularly, maintain a fit body, and eat good food, the effects of sitting for long periods will not be diminished. According to statistics, we sit down more than we sleep now – 9.3 hours compared to 7.7 hours, and there is little we can do to offset the extent of such damage.
When you lead an inactive life for most of the day, it means that there is little to no variability in your blood pressure levels and your heart rate. So, spending hours binge watching your favorite show on the television or typing for hours on your keyboard is a gateway to stroke, cardiovascular diseases, and heart attack. That’s not all – sitting increases the risk of a person contracting Type 2 diabetes along with certain kinds of cancer, such as colorectal tumors.
What Happens When You Sit for Too Long?
When you’re in a sedentary position for long periods, every system in the body gets affected. What you need to understand is that it is not exactly the act of sitting which is causing so many health problems in people; rather, it is the absence of movement. Most people fail to take notice of the fact that they have been sitting in one place for a few hours, and not working their hearts as much as they should. Only when they move around can people make sure that blood flows properly to their bones, organs, and brain.
Solutions According to Experts
You cannot minimize the risks that come with sitting by simply standing up. According to medical experts, people should walk at least 5 minutes every hour, even if it’s just to fill up their water bottle or grab a cup of coffee. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator also helps. Moreover, when you’re traveling to someplace close, do not hire a cab. Instead, make use of your legs. All that matters here is you have you move your body.
Thankfully, there are numerous applications available nowadays, such as “Stand Up! The Work Break Timer” for this purpose. They send you a reminder when you need to take a stroll. You can even set personal reminders on your phone so that you do not miss out on a couple of breaks each day.
Some people find standing desks to be useful, but they really don’t make much of a difference since they do not get you moving. Opt for equipment like treadmill desks instead, which is pricey but beneficial in the long run.
The situation is more serious than you think. People who spend more than 6 hours a day sitting are 40 percent more likely to die within a span of 15 years compared to people who sit less than 3 despite exercise. What’s worrying is that obese people sit 2.5 hours more each day than fit people, and one in every three Americans happens to be obese. So, before things get worse, take a stand and stand up!