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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

9 Health Risks Of Sitting Too Much | Correct Sitting Posture

The human anatomy is designed in such a manner which facilitates them to stand upright. So standing erect has many benefits over sitting. However, in today’s day and age one cannot afford to stand when they are riddled with work that causes them to sit for large periods of time in front of their computers. In the midst of this, people have forgotten that long periods of sitting, that too in a bad sitting posture can significantly impair the functioning of their spinal cord. Moreover, it also causes them to develop poor cardiovascular health and irregular bowel functions in the process. Here’s what sitting too long does to your body and your health.

How Bad is Sitting for Your Health?

1.   The weakening of Leg and Glute Muscles

sitting in bad posture

woman exercising, Credit: Canva

Sitting for a prolonged period of time every day can adversely affect your legs and glute muscles. These large muscles are made for walking and for stabilizing your body. When they are not being used for these purposes, they weaken and gradually waste away. You may find yourself more likely to suffer from injuries or strains during physical activities.

2.   Weight Gain

weight gain due to sitting

An overweight woman, Credit: Canva

Sitting for large periods of time damages your digestion. It leads to an increase in your weight as your body is not able to digest the fat and sugar from the food you eat in a proper manner. If you exercise once a day but are sitting for the best part of it, then also you are at a greater risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Hence, you should at least spend 60 to 75 minutes of your day in some physical activity to avoid the undesirable effect of weight gain caused by excessive sitting.

3.   Hip Joint Issues

sitting posture

woman feeling pain, Credit: Canva

Continuously sitting and that too, in a bad sitting position will adversely affect the health of your back and hips. They will not support you as much as before. It will invariably lead to hip joint issues. Besides hips and back, a bad sitting posture will take a toll on your spine health and may result in its premature degeneration.

4.   Increased Vulnerability to Mental Diseases

depression due to inactivity

man feeling depressed, Credit: Canva

You know that physically moving and exercising gives you a rush of endorphins. These hormones make you happy. When you sit for long periods of time you miss the good effects of physical activity on your mental health. You thus become more prone to developing depression and anxiety.

5.   Compromised Heart Health

heart health

heart health illustration, Credit: Canva

People who sit for long hours invariably develop cardiovascular diseases. The constant inactivity impacts the healthy functioning of their heart. Increased sitting reduces the blood circulation and coupled with unhealthy eating habits negatively affects their heart.

6.   Diabetes

sitting too much risks

A diabetic, Credit: Canva

Did you know that even staying in your bed for a period of five days can significantly lead to a spike in insulin resistance? In other words, if you check your blood sugar levels after five days of being bedridden, you will find that your blood sugar has increased.

7.   Spider Veins

varicose veins due to sitting

a woman with varicose veins, Credit: Canva

Spider veins or varicose veins occur when blood pools in your legs. This happens because of no movement or a prolonged period of sitting. These spider veins can result in the formation of blood clots. Blood clots can lead to dangerous conditions like deep vein thrombosis.

8.   Stiff and Achy Shoulders and Neck

sitting too much risks

woman stretching her neck, Credit: Canva

Bad sitting posture is increasingly common in today’s generation who spends a majority of their time glued to their computer causes the neck and shoulders to become stiff and achy. That is why it is recommended to take breaks, walk and stretch your body parts.

9.   Premature Death

sitting too much harms

a graveyard, Credit: Canva

Many studies have also linked long periods of sitting with the premature death of people. According to the studies people who indulge in recreational activities that require them to exert themselves physically live way longer than those who keep sitting for hours on end.

So how long should you sit down for? Try to take breaks after every one or two hours and walk or stretch.

How to Correct Sitting Posture

1.   Proper Sitting Position

good and bad posture

woman sitting in good posture, Credit: Canva

Place your feet flat on the floor. Do not cross your knees. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Your arms should be in an L shape. Keep your back erect and do not strain your neck. You can also use a backrest or cushion.

2.   Proper Sitting Position When Working

good and bad posture

men sitting, Credit: Canva

The monitor should be at a distance of an arm’s length from you. Try to sit in an ergonomic chair when working on a computer. Your keyboard and mouse should be close and not farther apart. If you experience any kind of pain anywhere, stand up and walk for a few minutes.

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