I remember, our grandfather used to yell when sitting and watching TV for hours on our couch. He would warn us that not only would we ruin our spines but also that we were spoiling our eyes. And years later, I believe his words out of an experience, and we wish grandpa were alive to see us having changed our lifestyles for good.
Mind taking a wild guess on how many hours a person sits per day? At work, while traveling, the favorite TV/coffee breaks……?! According to research, an average person sits for a whopping 12+ hours a day, that’s more than half a day. Excluding 6-8 hours of sleep in the remaining 12 hours and there is barely any physical activity. But fret not the physical activity is a cakewalk. With a few simple tips and tricks, one could easily turntable.
Sitting for long hours without a break undoubtedly weakens the back and causes pain. With a majority of 9-5 jobs these days, it gets harder for people to avoid their chairs. Whether one is behind the wheel for long hours, at a desk or in front of a screen, or even while away time in front of the TV, he/she is automatically linked to other health hazards apart from causing backache as an immediate effect. Let’s quickly run through the list:
Calories & Fat Won’t Go Away
Being inversely proportional, the lower the physical activity, the higher the weight. Sitting in your chair all day long results in poor metabolism of calories thus increasing fat in the body and may eventually even lead to obesity. Fat around the waist and hip area are one of the most common results.
Muscles and Gym
Lack of activity leads to the weakening of the muscles during your week-long efforts in the gym. It is important to be rolling throughout the day to make justice to your investment in the gym.
The Elderly & Dementia
The bodies of older people are delicate and show the immediate effects of actions. While their bones and muscles are probably already weak and tired, inaction would lead to permanent damage which must be avoided. With a little bit of exercise every day at regular intervals, they can ensure that they can manage their own washroom and bath trips throughout the day.
A condition called Dementia in which a group of thinking and social symptoms interferes with daily thinking and functioning could also hit people, especially among the elderly because of their age. Dementia rarely occurs in people below the age of 60-65.
Staring at your screens forever, sitting in a position without movement, or freezing mental fluidity may all lead to the death of creativity, increase anxiety or disrupt sleep. Physical activity and breathing right directly affect the mind and thus breaks between sitting hours are extremely crucial to ensure the healthy functioning of the brain and mind.
This May sound ghastly but it is a proven researched fact that one could become prone to a nearly 22-49% increase in the chances of dying earlier if they sit without movement for substantial periods of their lives.
High B.P. and Sugar Levels
Not only will you probably become obese, but obesity may further lead to increased blood pressure and high blood glucose levels. Research has suggested that people with no standing activity have a 100+ percent chance of being victims of high blood sugar. Note that women tend to be far more prone to this as compared to men.
If you have cholesterol and are overweight, your doctor advises you to lose weight. Cholesterol has a negative effect on body weight. Control obesity to ensure normal cholesterol levels.
Heart at Stake
Developing heart disease is a very common ill effect of sitting for long hours without break. Studies claim that you could be at an increased risk of chances of being a victim of cardiovascular diseases.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
In case of extreme inactivity of the leg, a clot may be formed and it could get really serious if the clot breaks free and lodges into your lunch. Note that the condition may either cause extreme pain and swelling or no symptoms at all.
With negligible or no leg exercise through walking or standing, blood may get pooled in the leg(s) owing to gravity pull, leading to swelling, twisting, cramping, or bulging of the veins. Medically called Varicose Veins, you may also see spider veins, and bundles of broken blood vessels nearby which can be very painful.
While you watch out and start prepping to avoid these symptoms of sitting for long hours, also make note that none of these can be compensated with an hour of walk early in the morning or at the end of the day. What it instead takes, is a regular activity in the body throughout the day- even if the break means for just a couple of minutes!