Sitting Disease- Have you caught it?

We spend way too much time sitting- you’re probably doing it right now!

Did you know that the typical American adult is sedentary for 60% of their waking hours, and spends an average of 6 hours a day sitting? This can be even higher if you work at a desk or on a computer all day. [1][2] What’s even more astonishing is that sitting is accepted as the norm and exercise is becoming a burden for many.

Here’s some of the dangers of sitting your life away:

-Sitting decreases the activity of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase, which helps the body burn fat [3].

-Sitting or sedentary behavior has been shown as a risk factor in women linked to decreased bone density despite any engagement in physical activity [4].

Constant sitting also may adversely affect the following:

  • Heart

When sitting down, muscles are less active, blood flow has decreased, resulting in less calories being burned. Over time, blood pressure and cholesterol will rise, increasing the chances of heart diseases.

  • Pancreas

The pancreas produces insulin and this hormone must carry glucose to cells for energy. Inactivity can lead to an increase in insulin production, causing the hormone to accumulate, resulting in diabetes. Clear evidence has shown that physical exercise decreases the amount of required insulin to maintain glycemic control [5].

  • Brain

The brain needs fresh blood flow in order for it to work at its optimal level. With a lack of activity, blood flow decreases and so will your brain function!

  • Neck, Back and Shoulders

Most of the time your desk isn’t high or low enough, depending on your height, and you tilt your neck towards the screen and keyboard. Also think about when using the phone while typing? What about talking on the phone while writing; you have to tilt our neck towards the side to hold the phone. By doing this you’re putting a lot of strain on the cervical vertebrae, shoulder, and neck muscles.

  • Legs

When you are sitting for hours on end, circulation slows down and leads to water retention because of fluid buildup in the legs. Some associated problems are varicose veins and vein thrombosis [6].

How Do You Improve or Prevent This?

Just add a little more activity to your day. Use a smaller coffee mug to increase trips to refill or park a little further from the office. Also remember to stand up and move your legs for a few minutes after every half-hour of sitting.

Try doing more activities while standing like: talking on the phone and eating. In the workplace, you can get a standing desk or even a treadmill desk! Next time you’re meeting with a friend or co-worker, go for a walk!

Too much sitting is a bad thing and can shorten your life span, so try to move a little more everyday. There’s no reason you should just sit your life away!

Learn how One Stop Wellness can help your company fix this problem!