Today, sitting for extended periods of time has become a part of our everyday lives. Whether it be due to driving in a car, to sitting at your desk through the work day or even sitting around in your own home watching television, there is evidence that too much sitting can be unfavorable to your health.
Known as ‘Sedentary behavior’, classified for its elongated periods of time sitting, it requires very low amounts of energy to be expelled. Aside from the potential of slowly crippling our bodies this sedentary behavior has been found to be adversely related to health risks such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular risks, and even premature mortality.
And while you may believe that a daily exercise routine may reverse the effects of your frequented sedentary behavior, researchers are now saying they believe that sitting for most of the day can be deadly either way. Some researchers have even made comparisons like, “sitting is the new smoking.” Check out this peer-reviewed article for more information on sedentary living and our health.
11 Reasons You Should Avoid Sitting Too Long
1. HEART DISEASE
When we sit, our muscles burn less fat, which in turn makes our blood flow at a much slower rate than it should. Over time, this can encourage build up of fatty acids that can clog the heart. This may explain why people who have jobs that involve them sitting have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease than those whose jobs require them to stand.
Aside from the ability to burn less fat when we are sitting, when we sit for elongated periods of time, our blood sugar levels rise too. Not only are you burning fewer calories, but doctors believe that sitting may change the way our bodies react to insulin (the hormone that helps burn sugar and carbs for energy purposes).
3. PREMATURE DEATH
According to a study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, even with regular exercise, it was found that the odds of premature death increases from sitting for long periods of time. But don’t let that be your excuse to skip the gym, continue to keep moving!
The risk of colon, breast, and endometrial cancer increases as well for people who spend the larger portion of their days sitting. The increased insulin levels that encourage tumor cell growth serve as the main link between sitting and being diagnosed with these cancers. Getting up and moving around can be helpful to lower both your insulin and blood sugar.
5. OVER- PRODUCTIVE PANCREAS
Insulin seems to be the common denominator when talking about risks on your health due to too much sitting. So, it is important to understand that the organ that produces insulin is your pancreas and that it too, can be affected. While insulin helps carry glucose to our cells for energy, in an inactive body, it does not respond as readily to insulin release. Resulting in more insulin production that requires your pancreas to work overtime. Studies have found that just one day of prolonged sitting drastically reduced the insulin response in a body.