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Sitting For Too Long? Your Chair Can Kill You

Sitting for more than 6 hours will cut down 7 years of your life! So how much sitting is too much?

Updated
Health News
3 min read
Sitting For Too Long? Your Chair Can Kill You

Sitting is a good break from a busy day but considering most of us spend the entire work day at a desk, followed by downtime in front of the TV, one has to wonder, how is sitting affecting our bodies? The answer will shock you.

If you sit 11 hours or more in a day, you have a 40% increased risk of death in the next 3 years as compared to people who sit 4 hours or less!

Shocked? Me too! My suggestion: Stand up while you read this.

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What Happens When You Sit for Too Long

We all should sit less and that it is very different from exercising more (Photo: iStock)
We all should sit less and that it is very different from exercising more (Photo: iStock)

As soon as you sit down, the electrical activity in your muscles drops significantly and your calorie burning rate comes down to less than 1 cal/min

After only 3 hours of sitting, there is a decrease in blood flow.

Sit for 24 hours straight and the insulin in your body loses nearly 40% of its ability to uptake glucose, which ups your risk of diabetes.

And things only get worse from here.

After 2 weeks of sitting for more than 6 hours a day, LDL or the bad cholesterol is increased along with other fattty molecules putting you at a greater risk for weight gain. And the enzymes responsible for breaking down fats plunge.

And because of the prolonged inactivity, your muscles begin to break down.

Gradually the contractions become weaker and that ultimately affects the pumping of your heart.

Even if you work out regularly, the minute you stop moving, the deterioration begins in proportion to your sitting time.

And that’s the scary part.

Research shows just as exercise does not necessarily counteract the effects of smoking, it doesn’t counteract the negative effects of too much sitting.

Just a year later, studies show women lose upto 1% bone mass every year.

Perhaps the most shocking.

After 10-20 years of sitting for more than 6 hours a day, you may have lost upto 7 years of quality life. That is years without medical issues or hospital visits. Your risk of cancers increase by 30% and risk of heart disease increases by 64% .

Let’s not sugarcoat it. Prolonged sitting for years will kill you sooner than you thought (Photo: iStock)
Let’s not sugarcoat it. Prolonged sitting for years will kill you sooner than you thought (Photo: iStock)

If everybody sat for no more than 3 hours a day, the average lifespan would rise by 2 years!

Don’t Sit, Stand Up!

No matter how lazy you are, these simple tips will help you battle the sitting epidemic.

Get a standing desk: Everyone’s talking about it and they are really cool. These desks can be adjusted to suit your height and when you get tired, pull your chair and sit down. 10 minutes in an hour of standing is all you need.

The adjustable standing desk. Stuff that dream workstations are made up of (Photo: iStock)
The adjustable standing desk. Stuff that dream workstations are made up of (Photo: iStock)

Stand up: Boss not giving you the budget or the space for this fancy desk? Crib and curse but start taking a short 5 minute break every hour to walk around office. Scientists say this is enough to negate the effect sitting has.

Drink more water: Not only is it good for your overall health but you will be getting up more from your seat to pee.

Talk to colleagues instead of emailing all the time: Move your ass. Be more human and talk when you can avoid emails.

Stand up for phone calls: Or better still walk the talk.

Park at the end of the parking lot: Not only will you find a parking space easily but that extra walking will prove to be very healthy in the long run.

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