Think about it: if you work at a desk all day and then come home and watch TV at night, you’re probably sitting most of your day. Even if you exercise regularly, sitting can greatly affect your health. Here are a few reasons why:
- Sitting can literally kill you. Studies have shown that people who sit for more than six hours a day die earlier than people who don’t sit as often. The simple fact is that mortality rates increase for chronic sitters and it mainly affects your heart.
- Sitting can make you fat. Research has linked sitting for long periods of time to obesity, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol levels.
- Sitting for long periods of time can also lead to type 2 diabetes. This is because prolonged sitting affects your blood sugar and insulin levels. Plus, sitting can give you obesity and those who are obese have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Muscle atrophy is also common with frequent sitters. Sitting halts your metabolic functions that break down fats and sugars. You’ll notice this phenomenon when you sit for long periods of time and become stiff. Standing will help.
- While you can help your muscles by simply standing more often, sitting affects the regulation of your LPL activity, which means lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that breaks down fat to use as energy. Movement throughout the day is necessary to keep your LPL activity healthy.
- Sitting is also associated with depression. Sitting reduces your circulation and suppresses serotonin, which is a hormone that helps you feel good. Studies have been published that show that people who sit for longer periods are more likely to have depression or depression symptoms.
- Sitting also increases your chances of getting cancer. Research has found that sitting gives you a higher risk for cancer, especially colon, endometrial or lung cancers.
These facts might scare you, especially if you work in a desk job where you have to sit for long periods of time, but there are ways to keep yourself healthy. Change your habits by forming an exercise routine, standing every hour and walking when you can. Every little bit helps, even if you just start walking around when you get a phone call. The less you sit, the less you’ll want to. Especially as the weather gets nicer, use this time to be outdoors and get moving!
Do you sit often? Did any of these facts scare you? How will you move more?