Scientists Explain What Sitting Too Long Does To Your Body
In today’s world there’s hardly any need for manual labor. Technological advances have made it possible to get most work done through machines. Over 34 million Americans therefore have office jobs which has tied them to the desk for eight or more hours a day. A report published in Annals of Internal Medicine said that a person spends more than half of their day in a sedentary state like watching TV, working on the computer etc.
Technology undoubtedly has several amazing benefits but we can’t overlook the fact that it has many drawbacks too. Sitting for too long can result in severe back pain, bad posture and also diseases like diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Here are four scientists who give detailed information about how sitting down for long adversely affects your body:
Issues regarding brain, neck and shoulder
Body movements make sure that there is blood and oxygen flow to our brain which keeps us focused and our minds clear. However sitting for too long reduces oxygen and blood flow to our brains, which is bad. Also slouching forward to look at the computer screen puts pressure on the neck, specifically the cervical vertebrae which connect the spine and head. Also this bad posture harms the back and shoulder muscles.
Bad posture results in extreme back pain, damaged disk and inflexible spines. When we don’t move much, the disks don’t get much blood and nutrients, becoming uneven and compact. This leads to collagen build up around tendons and ligaments. Also those who sit in front of a computer for long are at a risk of getting herniated lumbar disks.
When you sit down for long, your ab muscles are not in use, which can cause swayback or the unnatural extension of the spine’s normal arch. It also reduces flexibility near the hips and back. The hip flexor muscles get tense. This also causes your glute muscles to get soft which prevents you from taking long strides.
This also causes heart disease, cardiovascular disease and colon cancer. Due to inactivity, there’s an overproduction of insulin and slow blood flow to the organs, which causes these diseases. Keeping your body flexible kills cancer causing cells by boosting antioxidants which help reduce these free radicals in our body. Insulin overproduction also causes obesity and diabetes.
Sitting too long prevents blood circulation in the legs which causes blood to store around the ankles. This leads to swollen ankles, varicose veins and dangerous blood clots. Also bones get weaker and less denser with time due to this. As society becomes more inactive, diseases like osteoporosis set in earlier than usual. Regular exercise helps keep bones healthy and strong. The study shows that people who watched TV for 8.5 years are at 61% more risk of dying early than those who watched less than a hour per day.
How to tackle this growing problem of inactivity
If your work demands you to sit for long hours, then sit straight and don’t slouch over the keyboard. You can buy an exercise ball which will make your ab muscles work out and also make you sit straight. You can also try a backless stool. Every 30 minutes, get up and stretch to ensure proper blood flow to the brain and muscle functioning.
Most importantly, yoga does wonders when it comes to being flexible and de-stressing yourself. You may also try a standing work desk which will make you work in an upright position. This will definitely make sure you don’t get blood clots and health issues and keep your body healthy.