7 Ways Sitting Destroys Your Health

We all know sitting is bad and we should do it less, yet we still do a lot of it. In fact, the average American sits for about 8 hours per day, and some of us sit for far longer. Let’s take a look at how exactly sitting destroys the entire body, and with this knowledge, make a change!

1. It Causes Muscle Tightness and Degeneration

When you sit, you are relying on a chair to support your weight, rather than your muscles. This can lead to weaker muscles, and especially affects the glutes (butt muscles) and abs. So if you’re trying to strengthen or tone these areas, sitting all day may be sabotaging your attempts!

2. It Contributes to Leg Disorders

Sitting slows blood circulation. Poor circulation can lead to varicose veins, swollen feet and ankles, and even blood clots. And that’s not all. Sitting also makes your bones weaker and thinner as they don’t have to bear weight. Scientists suggest that the recent upsurge in osteoporosis cases can partially be attributed to, you guessed it, sitting.

3. It May Worsen Brain Function

stand up for better healthAccording to the Washington Post, “Moving muscles pump fresh blood and oxygen through the brain and trigger the release of all sorts of brain- and mood-enhancing chemicals. When we are sedentary for a long time, everything slows, including brain function.”

4. It’s Terrible For Your Spine

From your lower back all the way up to your head, sitting all day can threaten the integrity of your entire spinal column. Craning your neck to look at a computer and hunching over a desk can strain and imbalance your vertebrae, potentially leading to pain, soreness, and eventually degenerated discs. Lack of movement can also lead to spinal inflexibility.

5. It Can Make You Gain Weight

You burn 50 calories less per hour when you’re sitting as opposed to standing. That adds up to 1,000 additional calories per week, and 50,000 per year. Sitting’s correlation with muscle degeneration can also cause you to hold on to extra weight, as the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns throughout the way.

6. It’s Correlated With a Number of Serious Diseases

Studies suggest that the longer people sit each day, the greater their risk for developing diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancers including breast, uterine, colon, and ovarian. The biggest risk is of developing type 2 diabetes; one study found that those who sit for between 8 and 12 hours per day have a 90 percent higher risk of developing the disease.

7. It May Shorten Your Life

A 2012 study found that sitting ‘excessively’ can shorten your lifespan by two years. Here’s the kicker: ‘excessively’ was defined as 3 hours per day. Most of us are doing way more sitting than that!

A lot of people have the misconception that to reverse the damage done by sitting, all you need to do is exercise a bit in the evening. It’s not true. The best way to prevent damage done by sitting is to not do it so much, and to try to incorporate movement into your routine by making simple changes throughout the day.

Some ways to do this include:

· Taking regular walks during the day
· Taking the stairs
· Parking far away from where you need to go
· Walking or biking to work (if possible)
· Combining your social life with your ‘active life’ (exercising or going for walks with family and friends).
· Stretching at your desk
· Doing yoga on your lunch break
· Using a standing instead of sitting desk

-The Alternative Daily


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