On average, most adults sit for around 9 to 11 hours per day.
Since most of us sit for too long, you may wonder if it has negative health consequences?
This article answers the question — is sitting too much bad for your health?
What does sitting do to your body?
Sitting for long periods of time has been linked to a number of health concerns.
For starters, research shows that people who sit longer tend to have a higher risk of health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
A review of 18 studies compared the risk of several health conditions among people who sat the least with people who sat the most. Those who sat the most had a:
- 112% higher risk of diabetes
- 147% risk of heart-related diseases
- 49% higher risk of death due to all diseases
On top of this, sitting for too long has been linked to an earlier death.
An analysis of 6 studies with around 600,000 people found that those who sat for longer than 10 hours per day (i.e. the average office worker) were 34% more likely to die earlier.
Lastly, sitting for excessive periods of time has been linked to other conditions, such as:
- Tight hips and back
- Stiff neck and shoulders
- Bad posture
- Weak muscles
- Osteoporosis (weak and brittle bones)
- High cholesterol levels
- Anxiety and depression
Sitting for too long has been linked to many health issues such as a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and early death, and more.
What can you do about it?
In many cases, it’s hard to avoid sitting for most of the day.
This could be due to work, life-commitments, or various other reasons.
That said, you can easily fit more activity into your day in the following ways:
- Set a reminder every 30 minutes to move around or stretch.
- Whenever possible, take the stairs instead of taking the lift.
- During your lunch breaks, try and move around as much as you can.
- Try parking further away from work, so you can fit more activity in.
- If you use public transport, try standing.
- Get off the bus/train one stop early and walk the rest of the way.
- When you’re watching TV, try and fit in a few simple exercises such as sit-ups.
While sitting for long can’t be helped some times, the list above provides you with several easy ways to fit more activity into your day.