Are you stuck to your chair all day? Even if you don’t have a conventional 9 to 5 job, there is still a possibility you are spending too much time in your chair. But how do you know how much time is way too much? And how bad is it for your health?
While there is no definite evidence on whether people’s health is deteriorating because of sitting too much or if the bad health is causing people to spend much time sitting down, we could say one thing for sure: Sitting down is not doing your health any favor.
Too much sitting has been linked to cardiovascular disease, namely heart attack, heart disease, cancer, and even death. Sitting time has also been related to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and belly fat.
So how much is too much?
Research states more than 11 hours of spending time in your chair is sure to eat away your health, as elderly who sat for long hours were shown to be in greater risk of death.
You might be thinking that you are not at risk because you exercise on regular basis, but research shows that not even exercise could undo the damage done by sitting too much. Matters get worse with age, as adults over 60 tend to spend less time physically moving around. Experts recommend moving around more, at least 30 minutes or more per day, to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
By this point, you might be wondering what makes sitting so detrimental, and scientists have yet to find out by what exact mechanism sitting deteriorates health, but they have come up with few hypothesis.
Sitting too much may be bad for you because it makes the muscle remain still, and blood circulation tends to be slower when one is stagnant. Sitting has also been linked to obesity, and due to its less physical nature, sitting causes your body to use up less calories, naturally leading to accumulation of leftover calories.
It is said that sitting may even trigger your appetite more than physical activities, resulting in more calorific intake.
Here’s how you can help yourself?
Even so, there are ways to counter balance the effects of sitting. Experts recommend getting up from your chair frequently and stretching out at least once every 30 minutes to deter the detrimental effects of sitting still. Standing as much as possible, and incorporating a standing desk at work is another suggestion so that you won’t be stuck in a sitting position all day long. But even if this isn’t realistic for your work, experts recommend standing up and flexing as much as possible.
You don’t need to be an exercise guru to live a healthy lifestyle, and even little things like sitting down a little less every day can lead to better health. It may not be easy, since our society has a sitting culture that values getting work done in chairs, but just reducing your sitting time by 20 minutes per day is bound to be better for your health.