Desk job is the most common job in the world today. Sitting for 8 hours has become unavoidable. Sitting too long has some serious effects on our body. Sitting too long is as bad as smoking claims one study. There have been various studies conducted at various locations by different institutes claiming that sitting for long can cause serious damage. The damage is so severe that it can even kill you. Some shocking truth about sitting long has been found in these studies by scientists. Some of the shocking facts tell that even a 1 hour work-out is not enough to nullify the side effects of sitting for more than 8 hours a day. There are many companies around the world offering “stand and work” options to their employees. The chair can let you stand and work. Not just the chair, you should change your lifestyle to avoid falling prey to such risks. This post will take us through the list of top 10 shocking facts about how sitting can kill you.
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Here is the list of 10 shocking facts about how sitting can kill you:
10. Doubles the chances of getting chronic diseases
Diabetes, osteoporosis, cardio vascular diseases, arthritis and even some types of cancer are some of the chronic diseases one can get due to sitting for long hours. The chances of getting such chronic diseases increase by two folds due to sedentary lifestyle. Chronic diseases are diseases that recur frequently and persist for a long period of time. A study led by Kansas State University researcher Richard Rosenkranz, was carried out on a sample of 63,048 Australian men aged 45-65. The men were asked to report the number of hours they sat down and whether they had any chronic diseases. It was observed that men who sat for more than 4 hours a day were at a significantly increased risk of developing chronic disease compared to those who sat for less than four hours. This is a proof how sitting can lead to chronic diseases.
9. Constantly makes your body wider
Sitting for long duration and obesity are linked. Obesity is directly linked to the number of hours you sit down daily. Sitting down for long can decrease the body’s metabolism rate thus increasing fat deposits in the body. The fat deposits generally starts accumulating around the tummy and slowly progresses to all parts of the body. Our body is not designed to sit for long hours. Our body is designed to be active. When you make the body sedentary, it leads to fat accumulations. Slowly you would start to gain weight. Obesity is again linked to other diseases like heart diseases and diabetes.
8. Enzymes that breaks down fat is reduced by 90%
According to a new study published in the journal diabetes, mentions that extended sitting for long duration turns off enzymes that burn fat in the body. The studies were conducted on rats and pigs. The scientists injected small amounts of radioactive fats in these animals and traced where these fats reached in the body. The fats stored in the muscles were removed and stored in the adipose tissues. It was observed that fats stored in the adipose tissues didn’t burn easily when these animals were kept stationary. They also found that the enzyme called as lipase responsible for burning fat plunged to 10% when these animals were kept stationary for several hours. The researchers then followed up the study on human participants as well. They observed that good cholesterol reduced, reduced metabolism and increased fat retention. All these resulted in obesity, heart problems and a wider waistline.
7. Kills your back and neck more than standing
Sitting for long hours causes severe damage to your neck and back. Hunched sitting is even more dangerous. Many people forget to check their postures during work. Bad postures when at work or when sitting for leisure strains the back, shoulder and neck severely. Musculoskeletal distortion is caused due to the continuous pressure and strain put on your back and neck during prolonged sitting. The flexibility of the back and neck is decreased due to sitting long. People experience computer neck due to sitting and working for long in the same posture. Regular stretching of back and neck is important during work to avoid pains. Apart from stretching, good posture is important to avoid straining of the back, shoulder and neck.
6. An hour of exercise is not enough to fight ill effects of sitting all day
The deadly effects caused by hours of sitting are not nullified by just an hour of exercise daily. A study finds that sitting for more than 8 hours a day with an hour of exercise daily is not enough to tackle the damages caused by sitting. Even regular physical activity every day won’t offset the risk of heart diseases, diabetes and even cancer. The recent study distills the conclusions of 47 past studies on regular exercise can keep you away from risks of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancers. The study gives hints about reducing the time you sit by regularly taking breaks during your 8 hours day job, do not sit for more than 3 hours continuously, and do not watch TV after your day job.
5. Good cholesterol is reduced by 20%
Sitting all day long can significantly affect the levels of cholesterol in the body. Researches by different scientists have proved that bad cholesterol increases in the blood due to sitting all day long, whereas good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) is decreased significantly. Our body goes into a shutdown mode when the body is sedentary for long reducing blood supply to the heart, different parts of the body and reduces oxygen levels in blood. Within a couple of hours of sitting healthy cholesterol plunges to 20%. According to a study, sitting too long is as bad is smoking.
4. Slows down brain function
Sitting for long period of time, slows down your brain function. Prolonged sitting leads to less fresh oxygen supply and less fresh blood supply to the brain and to the body. Lesser fresh oxygen and blood means lesser brain power. The fact is you are becoming dumber when you sit continuously for long. It is not just the brain that gets less oxygen and fresh blood, the overall body is affected. All your vital organs slow down leading to lesser metabolism when the body is sedentary. Why do you feel drowsy after a heavy meal? This is because more blood is required for digestion and less blood in your brain. Sitting will cause more damage when a heavy meal is combined.
3. Decreases the ability to produce insulin drops by 24%
Sitting just one day in excess decreases the body’s ability to produce insulin by 24%. Excessive sitting damages your pancreas by causing it to produce excess insulin. According to a research published at Diabetologia found that people sitting for prolonged periods of time were twice likely to get diabetes. Also, sitting for more than eight hours a day is associated with a 90% increased risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
2. 125 percent increased risk of a heart attack
Sitting for more than 23 hours per week increases the risk of getting a heart attack by 125 percent confirms a study. Not only that excessive sitting is associated with heart attack but also other cardiovascular diseases. Too much sitting and too much sleeping in directly related to the health of your heart. It is unavoidable for many to work without sitting, but sitting outside ones job for leisure and watching t.v. can affect the heart tremendously. An hour of exercise is not enough to nullify the effects of several hours of sitting. Considering the age of the person, several hours of sitting each day leads to fat deposits in the arteries and blood vessels. A study conducted at Medical College of Wisconsin confirmed that reducing the hours of sitting by even 1 hour can have significant effect on your heart and hence avoids heart attack.
1. Increases chances of death by 40%
According to a study conducted on 220,000 New South Wales residents concluded that prolonged sitting leads to premature deaths in young adults. The research also confirms that risk of dying remains the same even if you engage in daily exercise. Adults who sat for more than 11 hours per day had a 40 percent chance of dying within a span of three years when compared to adults who sat less. This study is considered important because it was conducted on a large number of adults and it considered their age, health and other factors. The shocking thing found in the study was out of the 220,000 people, 5,000 people died in a span of three years. Prolonged sitting or sleeping is closely associated with risk of dying. It is very important to indulge in exercises and walking when you are in a sitting job.