So why shouldn't you be sitting? Here are the results:
- Heart: When you sit, blood flow slows and muscles burn less fat, which makes it easier for fatty acids to clog your heart, leading to a higher risk of heart disease.
- Pancreas: Your body's ability to respond to insulin is affected even by one day of sitting in excess, leading your pancreas to produce increased amounts of insulin, which could lead to diabetes.
- Colon Cancer: Sitting for extended periods of time may increase your risk of colon, breast and endometrial cancers. (This could be due to excess insulin production, or weight gain.)
- Sitting down after you've eaten a meal causes your abdominal contents to compress, which slows down digestion. Sluggish digestion can lead to cramping, bloating, heartburn, and constipation.
- Your brain function begins to slow when your body is sedentary for too long. Your brain will receive less fresh blood and oxygen, which are both needed to trigger the release of mood-enhancing chemicals.
- It is common to hold your neck and head forward while working at a computer. This can lead to strains in your cervical vertebrae, along with permanent imbalances, which can cause neck strain, sore shoulders and a sore back.
- Sitting puts more pressure on your spine than standing. When you sit, the disks in your back are compressed and can lose flexibility over time, increasing your risk of herniated disks and other back problems.
- Standing requires you to tense your abdominal muscles, which go unused when you sit.
- Your hips suffer from prolonged sitting, becoming tight and limited in the range of motion. Decreased hip mobility in the elderly is the leading cause of falls.
- Sitting leads to poor circulation in your legs, which can cause swelling of your ankles, varicose veins and blood clots.
- Walking, running and engaging in other exercise leads to stronger and more dense bones. Lack of activity may result in weak bones and even cause osteoporosis.
Are You Still Sitting?Did you know that you burn up to 30% more calories when you are standing verses when you are sitting? It is suggested that you stand or move around for one to three minutes for every half hour you spend sitting. If you are sitting for the majority of your day, here are a few ways to get moving:
- Stand or walk around while you are talking on the phone.
- If you need a desk to work, consider getting a standing desk, or improvise with a high table or a counter
- Take a walk on your lunch break.
- If you are watching T.V. to relax, get up and move around on commercial breaks.