“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”
In today’s world where almost all sectors of life are working from home, sitting on a chair for the majority of the day has, unfortunately, become the norm. Research states that a huge number of people spend about six to eight hours of their day being seated in one place, that sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? The reality is that this can have both, short-term and long-term effects on the mental and physical health of a person and can often lead to deadly repercussions as well. Here is a list of the 10 health disadvantages that come with being seated in a chair for too long.
Weak lower body
It makes perfect sense for one to have a weak lower body as a result of sitting in one place for too long. When I say lower body, I most specifically mean legs and glutes. By not standing up, walking, running, or jogging, you are on your feet for a very limited amount of time, and this does not give your legs the opportunity to use its muscle and hold you up. Hence, you may find that your leg muscles have begun to deteriorate and weaken, thus leading to muscle atrophy. It is important to remember that if you have weak lower body muscles, you are at a high risk of getting injuries.
Well, this is one of the most obvious health disadvantages of being seated in a chair for long hours without much mobility. Moving around helps one’s body to produce lipoprotein lipase, which plays a key role in breaking down sugars and fat. Not giving the body a chance to manufacture this much-needed product tends to lead to weight gain and often, obesity too. The reduction in the amount of energy being exerted leads to most of the body’s muscle groups not being active enough to burn fat. If this continues for prolonged periods of time, it can lead to severe weight gain and obesity.
Impact on the hips and back
This is one of the disadvantages of sitting for long hours that is spoken about far too rarely. Our hip has certain flexors present that require regular or minimum exercise to remain functional. However, having a rather sedentary lifestyle can cause the shortening of these flexors. Additionally, the position in which you sit can have a drastic impact on your back; this can especially be the case if you don’t maintain good posture while sitting. If you have bad posture, it is certain that your spine and discs will have added pressure and compression that can lead to some very long-lasting and deadly problems in the future.
The risk of cancer
Well, this is not meant to scare you, but to keep you well informed about the negative health issues that come with being seated for hours together. Recent research states that leading a sedentary lifestyle can increase one’s chances of developing cancer of the lungs, uterine, colon, etc. another study found that those with jobs that required them to be seated at a desk for hours together were more likely to develop cancer of various kinds. In order to avoid a disease as serious and deadly as cancer, it is necessary to take matters into your own hands and ensure you include at least some form of physical activity in your day, no matter how big or small.
Well, this is another health disadvantage of sitting on a chair for too long. This condition involves the individual having swollen and enlarged veins. People often manage to live with this condition as it is usually benign; however, there are times it could take a turn for the worse. This condition becomes deadly when it interferes with the mobility of a person. Sitting for too long causes blood to pool in the legs and sometimes leads to blood clots. The condition can cause one to depend on a walker or a walking stick for long periods of time if the situation and pain worsen.
Being seated for long hours has the ability to hamper with the body’s capability to deal with blood sugar effectively. This can lead to the body lowering its sensitivity to the essential hormone, insulin. Insulin as you know helps transport glucose into the cells of the body for the purpose of energy production. Diabetes can be a deadly condition to deal with and gives rise to other health conditions as well. Hence, it is best to steer clear of it and ensure you maintain an active lifestyle.
Sitting in one place for too long tends to compress a certain part of the abdomen that handles the function of digestion. This causes one to have often have cramps, constipation, heartburn, etc. When the process of digestion is delayed, it causes an imbalance in the intestines, and this leads to major health conditions in the future.
Although this may sound odd, being seated on a chair for long hours can have an impact on the heart. It can lead to cardiovascular issues blood clotting, high blood pressure, cholesterol, strokes, and much more. This often happens because sitting makes the blood flow in the body deteriorate drastically and also reduces the body’s ability to burn fat. Research has proven that sitting for hours on end can increase one’s chances of contracting heart disease by 64%. Hence, most experts advise everyone to include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in their day to avoid cardiovascular problems.
It is a rather unpopular opinion that sitting on a chair for long hours can lead to one having psychological problems. Issues like anxiety and depression are highly likely to crop up in those who are seated for the majority part of their day. Being fit has a number of psychological benefits, apart from having physical benefits as well. When one remains active, the body releases hormones like dopamine, also known as the ‘happy hormone’ that help keep one’s spirits uplifted. Additionally, being seated on a chair for long hours, means that one does not get adequate exposure to the sun and its positive properties. For instance, the lack of vitamin D is a well-known cause of depression in the masses.
Although this may not seem like a serious disadvantage, its effects are long-lasting and scary. The spine and neck and integral parts of the body and require care and attention. Sitting for long hours can have serious implications on the spine and its discs. This could in turn also impact the lower back and the muscles surrounding it, thus leading to further complications. Any basic act we perform in our day-to-day life requires us to have a fully functional and healthy spine. Hence, it is of utmost importance to look after it and avoid future problems.
Now that you are well aware of the negative implications of being seated on a chair for too long, you can take the necessary steps to right your wrong. Even small activities like moving around in your chair itself, or walking to go get a glass of water, have proven to be great ways to keep your body active. Additionally, you can also find some time to spare and get in a quick home workout to keep yourself fit. It is true that it can get difficult to lead an active life with today’s demanding jobs, but it is now time to put yourself first and stay healthy.