10 Reasons to Avoid Sitting Too Much from 10 Reasons to Avoid Sitting Too Much

10 Reasons to Avoid Sitting Too Much

If you work in accounting, programming or as a writer, you can easily be sitting at your desk all day before you take a break, and chances are that you sit while commuting to and from work as well. While technology has provided us with many advancements and job opportunities, remaining sedentary can pose a number of serious health risks.

*Related: 10 Ways to Make Your Office Better for Your Health

Janet Miller, mom of four, former Fortune 500 executive and executive coach, has put together a list of 10 reasons to avoid sitting too much.

Weight Gain

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One of the more obvious and faster hitting consequences of sitting too much is that it’s really easy to gain weight. This doesn’t only affect the way you look and feel, but if you gain enough weight to be classified as obese, you’re putting yourself at risk for a number of serious health complications. Obesity has become an epidemic in this largely sedentary world, and it leads to issues ranging from pain to diabetes and heart disease.

Poor Posture

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When you sit for too long, it becomes difficult to maintain good posture. You will naturally begin to slouch and slump as you reposition yourself to keep comfortable. Before too long, this slouching at the desk will begin to affect your posture when you stand and walk. Poor posture doesn’t only look unattractive, but it’s painful and messes up the spine. *See: Free Workout Plans for Busy People

Greater Risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes

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Sitting for prolonged periods of time actually increases your risk of developing a number of illnesses and disease. Obesity has a lot to do with this one. Heart disease and diabetes are two of the number one causes of death today, and the risk of developing these serious health complications is largely associated with obesity, which is a result of living a sedentary lifestyle.

Greater Risk of Cancer

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Your chance of contacting certain cancers, including breast, colon and lung cancers as well as cancer of the endometrial lining is much higher when you sit for prolonged periods of time. In contrast, physical activity reduces inflammation, which in turn reduces your risk of many types of cancer.

Development of Chronic Pain

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Weight gain combined with poor posture inevitably leads to issues with chronic pain. When you sit for too long, the muscles in your back and neck tense up and before you know it, you’ll be suffering from serious aches and pains throughout your shoulders, neck and back

Muscle Degeneration

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It’s a fact that the more you move, the more flexible you are because your muscles stretch and grow stronger. Conversely, when you don’t move around much, your range of motion becomes limited because your muscles aren’t stretching or being used much. When you sit for prolonged periods of time and don’t get enough exercise, the muscles in your abdomen and hips become weak. This leads to pain and a number of other health complications. 

Thankfully, technology has introduced some great devices to help battle sedentary lifestyles with a wide range of step monitors, pedometers and other fitness trackers that will help encourage you to get up and moving more often. 

Leg and Hip Problems

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Weakened muscles combined with poor circulation from keeping your legs still for a prolonged period of time lead to a number of leg and hip problems, such as swollen ankles, muscle degeneration and deep vein thrombosis.

Your gluteus muscles are some of the most important muscles in your legs. They are responsible for helping you keep balance among other things. When you sit for a longtime, your glutes are at rest and doing nothing but cushioning you. As these muscles lose their tone, you may experience trouble maintaining good balance. 

Deep Vein Thrombosis

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Deep vein thrombosis is a health complication in which dangerous blood clots form in the large veins of your legs. Sometimes, pieces of these clots can break away from the clot itself and be pumped into the narrow blood vessels of the lungs. The risk of complications caused by deep vein thrombosis is highest in people who fly often, sit for prolonged periods of time, smoke and are pregnant.

Depression

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When you’re active, different centers in your brain become engaged and active. More blood and oxygen is transported to the cells and tissues in the brain, making them healthier. This activity also releases chemicals that work to enhance the mood and brain function

Consequently, when you sit down for a long time, your brain activity is low. Less oxygen and blood reaches the brain to help the cells and tissues stay healthy, and those chemicals that enhance mood and brain function are released much less often. People who work for long periods of time at a desk job often suffer from stress and depression that could be much less significant if they got more exercise. 

Shorter Life Span

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The combination of obesity, disease, health ailments and psychological issues that arise from sitting for prolonged periods of time all combine to shorten your life span and your quality of life while you’re still alive.

There is no doubt that our technologically-driven modern age can have serious consequences for our health and our lives. Save yourself from the diseases, depression and pain caused by sitting too much by getting up and walking around more often. One hour of walking per day is recommended, and of course it’s always good practice to add in some muscle toning activities as well. 

 

10 Reasons to Avoid Sitting Too Much