Health Risks of Excess Sitting

One of the most hazardous things that affects people’s health today is spending too much time in a sitting position. The number of people who use a computer in order to make a living is on the constant increase, so any office-working professional spends several hours sitting at a desk on a daily basis.

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According to the results of a 2015 report, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, prolonged sitting has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancer, and even premature death, because an average person spends more than a half of waking hours in a seated position. The body is kept relaxed while being in a sedentary position for hours, which does not allow your muscles to get proper use. Thus, various body functions slow down, which can cause many different health issues over a long period of time.

Posture Problems

While working at a desk, it is common to hold your head and neck forward, which can lead to sore shoulders and back, neck strain, strains to your cervical vertebrae, and cause a permanent imbalance. Also, sitting puts a lot more pressure on your spine than standing, meaning that the toll on your back is much worse when you’re sitting in front of your computer. While moving, the disks in your back expand and contract, absorbing nutrients in the process. Sitting causes disks to lose flexibility over time. If you’re experiencing chronic back pain, sitting may very well be the cause. Shift a couple of sitting hours by standing in front of your computer. If the pain doesn’t go away, consider visiting a professional for quality chiropractic services.

Organ Damage

Sitting makes easier for fatty acids to clog the pathways in your cardiovascular system. It is because muscles burn less fat and blood flows much slower. Just one day of excess sitting can affect your body’s ability to respond to insulin, which makes pancreas produce more of it. The result is increased risk of diabetes.  According to a research published in Diabetologia, the risk of heart disease or diabetes was twice as high in those who sat for the longest periods of time when compared to those who sat the least. Long periods of sitting may also slow down your digestion and increase your risk of endometrial, colon, and breast cancers (it could be due to excess insulin production and cell growth, but the mechanism is still not known for certain).

Leg Disorders

Engaging in different weight-bearing activities, such as running or walking, leads to denser and stronger bones. Lack of physical activity weakens your bones, and can even lead to osteoporosis. Due to poor circulation in your legs, caused by long periods of sitting, can cause DVT (deep vein thrombosis), varicose veins, and swelling in your ankles).


Weight gain may become an issue to those who spend great amounts of time in a sedentary position. While in a seated position, bodily functions and metabolism naturally slow down. Most of the muscles are not in use and calories are burned at a much lower rate. As a result, your body may suffer if you don’t find the time to eat healthy snacks and meals, as well as to be physically active. Obesity is often the result of a predominantly sedentary lifestyle.

Sitting 8 hours a day on work, 5 days in a week, as well as between home and work – some people spend about 13 hours in a sedentary position each day. Break up the amount of time you spend seated by making short breaks, and you will minimize the health risks. Instead of sitting, try replacing your chair with a standing desk. If your career requires you to spend large amounts of time sitting, you should be mindful of your activity levels throughout the day. Make a quick walk around the office once every hour or simply stand up and stretch once per hour. At least 30 minutes of workout every day will be very beneficial to your overall body health.

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