Too much sitting is bad for your health. In fact, it’s turning out that prolonged sitting ranks near the top of the list – along with smoking and obesity – of factors contributing to chronic health problems.
When you sit
- Your muscles aren’t burning as much fat – so fat clogs your arteries and puts a load on your heart.
- Your blood sugar, LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure rise.
- Your muscle cells become less sensitive to insulin, and your pancreas responds by producing more of it. This cycle is a precursor to diabetes.
- Your risk for common cancers (breast and colon) inches up.
- You lose muscle mass, especially in the gluteals and abdominals, important groups for core postural support.
- You lose bone mass.
- You get tight hip flexors and stress your hip joints.
- There’s excess pressure on the discs of your low back.
- You’re missing out on the brain stimulation provided by movement activity.
- You distort the alignment of your upper back and neck, contributing to headache, muscle aches, and eye strain.
What to do
- Blow up your TV. Or at least stand up part of the time while you’re watching. Walk around during commercials.
- Switch your desk so you can stand (at least part of the workday.) Better yet invest in a treadmill desk.
- Elongate your hip flexors with a lunging stretch.
• Get a giant gym ball to sit on.
• Take your bike not the car.
Deepen Your Body of Knowledge
More on sedentary lifestyle effects
Warning: consult a physician before beginning any program of physical inactivity