Effects of prolonged sitting
In today’s technologically driven society, people are spending a lot more time sitting down – at home, at work and while travelling.
1. More Belly Fat
There is a strong connection between a sedentary lifestyle and an increase in body fat, especially around the waist. If you do not move around or exercise more often, your body will not be able to burn fat. Moving and exercising help the muscles release molecules, such as lipoprotein lipase.
These molecules play a key role in processing the fats and sugars that you consume. When you sit for prolonged periods, the fats and sugars are not processed properly, leading to fat accumulating in the abdominal region.
In fact, an increase in waist circumference is far more dangerous than overall body weight. Belly fat increases the risk of chronic health issues like heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer and early mortality. Thus, reducing belly fat is always a significant benefit to one’s health.
2. Heart Disease
Prolonged sitting also has a negative effect on internal organs, especially your heart. Sitting in the same place for hours leads to poor blood flow to all body parts, including your heart.
Poor blood flow allows fats and plaque to easily clog your heart, which in turn leads to high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.
3. Back and Neck Pain
Spending most of the time in a seated position, and with poor posture, is simply bad for your back and neck. The very act of sitting puts more pressure on the spine and compresses the disks in your spine. This can lead to premature degeneration, which results in chronic pain.
Prolonged sitting can make muscles more likely to pull, cramp or strain when stretched suddenly. It can also cause pain in the muscles in your back and neck. Sitting with poor posture can be particularly bad for your lower back. prolonged sitting causes damage to the muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments, affecting the neck and lower back regions.
4. Unhealthy Blood Sugar Levels
People who spend more time sitting and lead a sedentary lifestyle are at an increased risk of diabetes. More sedentary time is independently associated with insulin resistance, diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance. Prolonged sitting can make your pancreas produce more insulin, which can lead to diabetes.
Physical Activity suggests that higher volumes of sitting time are significantly associated with diabetes and overall chronic disease, independent of physical activity and other potentially confounding factors. Interrupting sitting time with short bouts of light- or moderate-intensity walking can lower postprandial glucose and insulin levels in obese people.