Sitting Too Much

The Dangers of Sitting Too Much

On average, most people sit for at least 6 hours every day!  Some, even more, depending on their lifestyle and entertainment choices. You can be sitting at your computer, watching favorite television shows, or playing video games, all of which tempt you into sitting for too many hours.  Most of us think sitting is harmless, but it can cause serious problems with your overall health.  If you live a sedentary lifestyle, this blog is for you!

Here are a few things that happen to your body when you sit too much….

  1. Spinal Strain

Humans are meant to live a very active lifestyle.  The spine is vital to the proper function of your organs.  It is built in an S-shape to withstand strains and pressure, however, while sitting, the spine turns into a C-shape.  Some scientists point to this when saying that sitting down is an unnatural position for humans.  As the spine takes on the C-shape, stomach muscles become weaker, and cervical vertebrae become “entrapped” causing increased blood flow to the brain, which can result in migraines and altered vision.

  1. Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Constant sitting can have a devastating impact on muscles, blood circulation, and the tone of blood vessels. An extensive study conducted with more than seventeen thousand people over 13 years showed that participants who lead a sedentary lifestyle were 54% more likely to have Cardiovascular Disease and die of a heart attack than those who were active.

  1. Varicose Veins

Yes, varicose veins are hereditary, but they can also be caused by too much sitting.  Due to the sitting position compromising blood circulation to your legs, it increases the onset of varicose veins.  They are more common in women than men and occur more often when legs are crossed, as this position results in blood congestion.

  1. Obesity

Weight gain is an obvious outcome of a sedentary lifestyle.  The fat-burning process decreases by as much as 90% when we are in a sitting position. Little physical activity also slows down metabolism, which causes our bodies to burn fewer calories and store excess fat. Insulin levels drop and blood pressure increases when our bodies slow down. Even if you have a desk job, you can still maintain an active lifestyle to maintain a healthy body weight and avoid these health conditions.

  1. Weak Bones & Muscles

With a sedentary lifestyle and too much sitting, it is easy for our muscles to become weak and flabby.  The abs and glutes are the most targeted in the sitting position, but the negative effects can travel beyond muscles and into our bones.  Lack of physical activity can lead to osteoporosis.

  1. Risk of Diabetes

As our muscles become more passive, they don’t require the same amounts of insulin.  The pancreas will produce enough insulin to turn carbohydrates into glucose. However, when the muscles don’t require insulin, the pancreas will quit producing insulin, which increases the risk of developing diabetes and other diseases.  Studies show that just one day of sitting can cause muscular cells to require less insulin.

  1. Accelerated Aging

Our chromosomes have ends on them called telomeres, which safeguard the chromosomes from damage.  As we age, the length of telomeres shortens.  Studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle makes the telomeres shorten much faster, which accelerates the aging process.  Sitting may be comfortable, but too much of it can take years away from your life.

  1. Risk of Anxiety and Depression

Studies show that constant sitting reduces the production of endorphins, which are typically produced during physical activity.  Endorphins trigger a feeling of well-being, boost pleasure, and reduce pain. The lack of endorphins can hinder your ability to relax, reduce your self-confidence, and have a negative impact on your mood, which may ultimately lead to unhappiness, depression, and memory loss.

  1. Insomnia

It is well known that a good night’s sleep is vital to your overall health and wellness.  The human body translates continuous sitting to a state of rest.  You may be mentally busy while you’re sitting, but your body still thinks you’re resting, so when it is time to call it a day, your body thinks you’ve been resting all day long, which hinders your ability to relax.

  1. Hormonal Imbalance

The lack of physical activity causes extra fat deposits, which in many cases leads to hormonal imbalance.  For men, the imbalance can lead to prostate issues and erectile dysfunction.  For women, a hormonal imbalance can lead to a host of physical and mental issues.

The best way to prevent all of these is to maintain or increase daily physical activity.  If you’re ready to get off the couch and get back your life, give us a call at 832-789-4989. Our treatment plans will increase your energy, improve your moods, give you confidence, and get you on track to health and wellness naturally!

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