Sitting is the new smoking. In a world where desk jobs are becoming increasingly common, there’s growing concern about the effects of prolonged sitting on our health. Sitting for long periods of time is linked to numerous negative consequences, including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Look no further than your office chair for the perfect example of how sedentary lifestyles are impacting our health. The “sitting disease” is something most of us will experience sooner or later; on average, we sit for almost eight hours a day. That’s more time than we spend sleeping! If you think that sounds insane, you’re not alone. There’s a good reason why experts call prolonged sitting the new smoking: there are many more harmful effects from prolonged sitting than from smoking tobacco.
The Health Risks of Prolonged Sitting
Prolonged sitting increases your risk of developing several serious health conditions. Those who sit for more than eight hours a day have a two-fold increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and an almost 50% increased risk of heart disease. Sitting is also associated with a higher risk of certain types of cancers, an overall reduced life span, and a reduced quality of life. If you want to avoid the “sitting disease,” you should do more than just stand up every once in a while. You need to get up and move as much as possible.
Sitting is harmful for your musculoskeletal system because it reduces muscle activity. Prolonged sitting significantly reduces your muscle activity, which can lead to the degeneration of certain muscles and even the bones supporting them. People who sit for long periods of time have a higher risk of developing back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, and knee osteoarthritis. Most worrisome, prolonged sitting can cause an accelerated degeneration of the discs in your spine. This condition, called degenerative disc disease, can lead to disability.
Sitting for long periods of time is associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This association is particularly strong in people who are overweight, obese, or have high blood pressure. The mechanism behind this increased risk is not entirely clear, but it may be connected to reduced levels of physical activity. When you sit, your muscles are not as active, and this can affect your blood flow. For example, sitting can reduce the blood flow to your legs, which can increase your risk of blood clots in your legs.
Obesity and Diabetes
Prolonged sitting is strongly associated with obesity, particularly obesity in the abdominal region. When you sit, you burn fewer calories, and the muscles that help us break down food are less active. This can lead to an unhealthy weight gain. Prolonged sitting can also increase your risk of diabetes in several ways. Sitting for long periods reduces the amount of insulin your body produces, and this can increase the risk of developing diabetes. Additionally, sitting can increase the amount of glucose in your blood.
Strategies to Avoid the “Sitting Disease”
There are many ways you can avoid the “sitting disease” and improve your health. You can stand up every once in a while, take breaks away from your desk, or use Orthopedic memory foam seat cushions. These seat cushions are ergonomically designed to support the natural body curve that help correct bad posture, relieve pressure from the spine and provide comfort for all day sitting. so, they can be a great option for those who spend long hours at the desk. If you’re interested in taking preventative measures against the “sitting disease,” you can easily implement changes to your daily lifestyle. Simply taking the time to stand up occasionally, invest in ergonomic seat and lumber cushions will make a great difference in preventing you against the sitting disease.