How Bad Really is Sitting Down All Day?
It’s nothing new to hear that sitting all day is awful for your health, but we’re here to look at how bad it REALLY is. Millions of people do it all day, every day, so it can’t be that bad after all, right? Well… actually, it's rather dire. There are a lot of reasons people like to fire off, but when you look at some of the more serious of those, things do get a little scary.
We’ve put together some of the worst of the worst to help give you a kick up the butt that you probably already need to help you move more, sit less, and live a generally more active life. It's not that hard if you know why you need to. All of these points have terrible knock-on effects after all.
Weight Management Decreases
One of the biggest examples that is one of the easiest to talk about has to come from your weight management. Again, it's nothing new, and it really is one of the most important parts of your health as a whole. When you sit for longer and move less, the direct result is that you burn fewer calories in a day than you would do with a more active lifestyle. In fact, it’s a staggering 30% fewer calories, according to Harvard health.
When you burn fewer calories without eating fewer calories, you guessed it; you gain weight. That makes sticking to being a healthy weight, really, really, tricky to do. There are just not enough places left in the day for you to burn calories if you don’t move where you can. As a result, it’s easy to put on weight. It’s arguably one of the biggest reasons for the UK’s consistent weight gain, and one of the biggest reasons you should move more! (Here are some healthy habits to help that happen)
Another example of how sitting down for long periods of time is how bad it can be for your heart health too. Exercise is one of the best things that you could ever do for the good of your health, both in the long and the short term. When you sit for most of the day, that becomes negated on a much larger scale than it usually would.
As a result, heart health is one of the most vital things to take a hit. Blood pressure becomes harder to manage, resting heart rate rises, and we generally become more and more unfit. This is made worse when combined with the weight management issues that come with sitting too. It’s a domino effect.
Risk of Disease Rises
If heart health wasn't bad enough, your risk of other diseases also rises from sitting down more than you should. According to the NHS; "Studies have linked being inactive with being overweight and obese, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and early death.” That does not bode well for us spending too much time seated.
Moving more has a range of effects that help us physically and mentally, and when these aren't utilised, it's bound to have serious impacts. This isn't including the risks of heart disease that come about either since that falls under heart health.
Create Bad Posture
The last awful impact sitting has on your health, (that we'll look at anyway) is how badly it affects your posture. Although significantly less life-threatening than the other points we have looked at, too much sitting down as you may well already know is not a good thing for your posture or your spinal health in general.
It’s much worse if you have bad sitting habits like crossed legs or slouches too, as this has complications of its own. In any case, this is one of the easiest ways to end up with muscle aches and pains that can last a lifetime, so they are just not worth having.
Tips for moving more
In case you're now as scared as we are, there are still a lot of little changes you can make to your daily life that are going to help you out with this. It's definitely not too late to do something about after all. Now you know all of the issues that come from too much sitting down, let's look at how you can do it less.
Some of the most creative and practical examples out there are things like:
- Standing Desks
- Active Commuting
- Movement Breaks
- Less Driving
These are just a few too. Get creative and see how you can move more in your daily life. Get outdoors, get walking more, and generally, sit less, move more! Good luck!
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.