Most of us spend hours per day sitting down, whether it be in traffic, at work, or when binge-watching our favorite TV episodes. The startling truth is that spending so much time sitting down could be killing us.
Although sitting for lengthy periods each day is linked to major health issues like Type 2 diabetes, joint discomfort, blood clotting, and cardiovascular disease, sitting may appear like a relatively innocent activity.
The Mayo Clinic’s Dr. James Levine, a professor of medicine, is credited with coining the expression “sitting is the new smoking,” which you may have heard. He has devoted years to researching the science of sitting and the inadvertent risk we all take by living sedentary lifestyles.
According to Dr. Levine, our bodies were not made to spend as much time sitting as we do.
As they foraged for food and tended crops, our ancestors spent most of their time upright, occasionally taking breaks by sitting down. He claims that we’ve transitioned from an ancient world of movers to a contemporary world of chair sloths in his book Get Up! Why Your Chair Is Killing You.
Why is sitting harmful for you if it is so relaxing?
Dr. Levine’s book led us to conclude that the issue is how much and how long we sit each day. Blood circulation, which is essential for good health and slows down when our bodies are in a static position for a long time, is just one of the many negative effects that can occur. This affects each system in the body.
Fatty acids can accumulate in the blood vessels due to poor blood flow, which can result in heart disease. Additionally, World Thrombosis Day notes that if your legs are immobile for an extended period, your calf muscles won’t contract, which generally promotes blood circulation.
If your calf muscles are immobile for an extended period, this might result in deep vein thrombosis (DVT), where blood clots form in the calves of your legs.
DVT is a significant issue. The lungs may become blocked if a piece of the blood clot escapes and travels there. A pulmonary embolism (PE) is what this is, and it can be fatal.
So if the above is the case, what should you do? Keep reading to find out!
Try to estimate how many “bottom-bound” hours you spend each day, including the time you spend traveling to and from work, sitting at your desk, driving to and from errands, and relaxing on the sofa at night. It’s probably more than you realize when it’s added up. Children who spend their days inside playing video games and watching TV instead of playing outside run the danger of developing health issues as well.
How do you kick the habit of spending too much time sitting down when it is obvious that doing so has detrimental effects on people, much as smoking has done over time? According to a renowned thrombosis specialist from Nigeria who serves on the steering committee for World Thrombosis Day, it is not sufficient to simply stand up all day.
It’s not healthy to keep your body in a stationary posture all day long, whether you’re sitting, standing, or lying down. And while it’s necessary to exercise, like going for a run or to the gym, she continues, the exercise by itself is insufficient to counteract the harmful consequences of prolonged sitting. Incorporating as much activity into your day as you can help you combat sitting, an independent risk factor, in your life.
After that, you must continue moving. “It’s the little things we do throughout the day that count. The key, according to experts, is to incorporate movement into every aspect of your life. “Stay active whenever you can throughout your workweek to break up sitting time. Take a stroll during lunchtime, stand up during phone conversations, and take a five-minute standing break for every hour you spend sitting down.
Wear loose-fitting clothing that helps blood to circulate and stay hydrated by drinking water to help thin the blood if you anticipate spending a lot of time sitting down, the expert advised.
When you’re at home, dance while you’re cooking or cleaning, and take your kids for a walk after work when everyone is home. When you’re out shopping, park further away and then walk the remaining distance. Avoid using elevators or escalators; at the very least, climb the stairs.
Lastly, make sure you exercise regularly because every minute spent exercising counts.
While there is undoubtedly a place for sitting in our day, we must consider how to change our habitual sitting choices to intentional ones.
Kate Henshaw has advised her fans and followers on a regular basis to make exercising more of a daily habit, and that is because the greater your chances of leading a healthy life are, the less you maintain your body in a fixed position during the day.