The modern office worker often spends 40-60 hours a week at a desk job. Living a very sedentary work life, he sits at his desk all day staring at his computer screen. Are you one of them? If you said yes, you seriously need a major lifestyle change right now.
“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting”, says Dr. James Levine, author of the book “Get Up” in his interview with the Los Angeles Times. According to his research, sedentary activities like sitting can lead to various diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis later in life.
Still not convinced? Here are seven reasons why sitting all day is killing you:
1. It Makes You Dumb
A study by professor Mike Trenell of Newcastle University has found that without muscle movement, the brain doesn’t get enough blood and oxygen. Sitting down automatically puts your body in a meltdown, which means electrical activity in your leg muscles shut off. This inhibits proper blood flow all throughout your body to your brain.
2. You Gain Extra Weight
As soon as you plant your butt on the chair, the enzymes that should help break down fat drops to 90%. If you consume more than enough calories, it will turn to fat and increase your body weight. After 24 hours of sedentary activity, a person’s insulin drops by 24% increasing risk of diabetes.
3. Damages the Bones
Humans are not biologically made for extensive sitting. Our body is designed for movement. Hundred years ago our ancestors were working in the fields, hunting, and gathering food to survive. They didn’t spend their days staring at a computer screen while sitting all day. Excessive sitting makes our bones brittle and weak. In fact you can lose up to 1 percent of bone mass a year for over six hours of sitting a day.This increases the risk of osteoporosis later in life.
4 Increases Risk of Chronic Diseases
Doctors have branded “sitting as the new smoking” because like smoking cigarettes, sitting all day increases your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. Studies have found that excessive sitting reduces life expectancy. It can chip away quality years of your life. After 20 years, you might find yourself spending your senior years sick and decaying in a hospital bed.
Modern life with all of its comfort has lots of damaging consequences. Sedentary activities such as sitting are a result of our society’s obsession for “comfort”. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Now that you know how damaging sitting is for your body, it’s time to help create change starting with yourself.