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Sitting Disease: The Side Effects Of Sitting For Too Long

With the world around us shut down, each shop at a time, the government around the world have requested people to stay indoors to avoid the coronavirus infection. Schools have become virtual and offices are carrying out meetings and presentations from home. At a time like this, it becomes important to take care of your health.

Majority of the offices are facilitating the option of work from home for its employees and there comes the ease of certain time flexibilities and perks, and along with it, some negative outcomes too. That is, unlike usual mornings where you wake up, take a shower, dress up and leave for office, your routine ends with having your breakfast and directly going to your office desk set up at home, preferably in your room.

You do not engage in extra physical activities like walking up the stairs or walking the distance to the office, resulting in your body being sediment throughout the days and even weeks. Chances are high that you could easily transform into a couch potato.

This article will explore the side effects of constant sitting or sitting disease and the way it impacts your body.

1. Slow Downs Calorie Burning

While sitting, the calorie-burning rate drops to 1 calorie per minute, which means that if you sit for an hour, you have burned 60 calories less than standing. When you are standing, you can burn 300 more calories each day. Burning of fewer calories makes you more likely to gain weight [4].

2. Boosts Weight Gain

You gain weight faster, as your cells become fattier. The body increases in LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), insulin resistance and plasma triglycerides, which means your body begins to produce more insulin because your body no longer accepts your insulin that stresses the pancreas and liver [5][6].

3. Causes Weaker Bones

The bones may get weaker and lose some mineral content due to sitting. Anything that can get you going on your feet and moving has been proven to be beneficial for the bones. If you do not get enough physical exercise, the higher are the chances of brittle bones [7].

4. Weakens Immune System

If you are a couch potato, your immune system may not work as well. If you do not get enough exercise, your immune system may get weaker and stop functioning properly [8]. Exercise boosts the immune system by strengthening the cells in the body that prevents bacteria and viruses from attacking the body [9].

5. Disturbs Blood Circulation

When you are sitting for long hours without moving, then the body is incapable of efficiently carrying the blood to your feet, which leads to blockage in the arteries. You might feel numbness or painful cramping in your legs, which can also lead to blood clots [10].

6. Causes Back Pain

The health risks of sitting for long hours can be a major cause of back pain. Prolonged sitting can even alter the firmness of the lumbar spine and add to the risk of a low back injury [11].

7. Causes Stiff Spine

When there is no spine movement it can become vulnerable to damage. Remember when we do some activity, soft disks between the vertebrae develop and contract which eventually tries to absorb blood and nutrients [12]. When we tend to sit for long hours the disks are compressed unevenly.

8. Causes Leg Pain

Extensive sitting will slow the blood circulation. This can be the reason for fluids to pool in the legs. And some of the health problems range from swollen ankle to varicose veins [13].

9. May Cause Memory Loss

Couch potatoes can have a drastic effect on their memory and attention span. People who have been sitting or lying for a longer period of time have been reported to become increasingly disoriented and lacking in concentration. People can forget instructions and minute facts and are often found procrastinating a lot [14].

 10. May Cause Heart Disease

Couch potatoes have an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes when they spend hours watching television. People are 80 per cent more likely to die of heart and artery diseases. Sitting at an office desk or in front of a computer, posed similar risks, leading to an unhealthy influence on their blood sugar and blood fats [15].