Why Sitting is Slowly Killing You
Who would have thought that the most dangerous part of coming home, sitting down, and taking a load off of your feet at the end of the work day would be the part where you’re sitting? Now, don’t get me wrong; I like to sit as much as the next lady. But with more and more evidence pointing to how harmful it is for your body, I had to reevaluate my lifestyle and find ways to be seated less and moving more. You too can better your body by stopping sitting and getting moving to reduce your risk for these harmful side effects of sitting.
- Sitting for extended periods can damage your spinal cord.
When we’re standing or laying down, our body weight is evenly distributed across our muscles, tendons, and bones. However, the human body was not designed to be seated. When we sit, we wreak havoc on our entire being; the muscles in our hips and pelvis shorten and the muscles in our lower backs relax, causing our entire core to weaken.
- Sitting too long can harm your organs.
On top of the damage that it does to your skeletal system, sitting can also be incredibly damaging for your organs as well. When you aren’t moving and getting your blood pumping, you aren’t burning fat which, in turn, makes it easier for said fat to clog your heart and arteries. In fact, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology indicates that women who sit for more than 10 hours a day can have a marginally greater risk of developing heart disease than those who sit fewer than 5. Research presented at the 2015 Inaugural Active Working Summit shows that sitting can also increase your risk for cancer, causing chances to rise for lung cancer by 54%, uterine cancer by 66%, and colon cancer by 30%.
- Sitting can increase your risk for diabetes.
Even if you exercise, sitting can still increase your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. When you sit for a prolonged amount of time, your body’s metabolic processes begin to slow down and even shut off. Studies show that for each extra hour you spend sedentary, your odds of developing Type 2 diabetes increases by 22%. This statistic holds true even for those who regularly exercise; sitting, even when combatted with physical activity, is still harmful to your body.
- Sitting can increase your risk for depression.
Exercise promotes the release of a number of feel-good chemicals in our brains; when we workout our body releases chemicals called endorphins that interact with the body’s pain receptors and help you feel good. Endorphins help to lower our stress level, and promote a good feeling throughout our body. However, when we’re not exercising, don’t do it regularly, or are staying seated for extended periods of time, we aren’t receiving the stress-reducing benefits of exercise, not to mention that the more time we spend sitting, the more our bodies want to stay seated.