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Why Prolonged Sitting too Much is Bad for Your Health

by Gauri Kolhe

Every system of human body is designated to do its own work perfectly to form functional harmony for a healthy life.  Eating habits, physical workout and lifestyle of individual affects the system in many ways.

Too much functioning of an individual system is bad for health; prolonged sitting is one of them. Most of the people have the issue associated backbone due to prolonged sitting as it is the cause of many diseases as human body is not designed for the prolonged sitting.

With the growing scope of corporate work people tends to stick on their seats for the long time. Also in this period of covid-19 pandemic most of the essential employees working from their home so prolonged sitting have become mandatory for these peoples.

It has been seen in many studies that desk-bound lifestyle causes many medical conditions however little changes in daily routine can prevent these conditions.  

Prolonged sitting and their impacts

If you are habitual to sitting too much (2 hours or more than that) either in front of the desktop due to work or in front of the television as a couch potato, it makes you feel tired and develop the risk of many diseases and health injuries.

Some of the research shows that moderate intense exercise for about 60 -75 minute can restrain the negative effects of the prolonged sitting. It also has been seen that standing for about 30 minutes a day counteract the negative effects of the too much sitting and beneficial in many ways.

Naturally sitting is associated with relaxation when you feel tired but sitting for a long time causes stress on the muscles and joints. Studying the human skeletal, it is designed to stand straight.

In this posture cardiovascular system function and bowel functions work more effectively than sitting posture. Increased endurance, stronger bones, stable mental state and higher energy levels of physical activity shown as a result of straight posture.

Sitting for too much causes fluid retention, weight gain, heart disease, high blood pressure, swollen legs, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

Here are some reasons indicating prolonged sitting too much is bad for your health.

Stiffness in shoulder and neck

Prolonged sitting over a computer keyboard or using Smartphone for a long period of time causes stiffness in the neck and shoulders, sometimes results fatigue.

Back pain

Back pain

Prolonged sitting results in chronic pain in the upper limb and lower back due to the curvature structure of spine like S-shaped curve. Small bones of spine which is known as Vertebrae have the discs in between of them.

Outer structure of disc is hard and sturdy while inner structure is made up of gel-like material. A compression has causes due to sitting which puts a lot of pressure on discs as well as back muscles and ligaments.

Prolonged sitting can cause bulge or herniated of the discs, to further damage by this muscles around the disc constrict to hold everything in the place, which results discomfort and chronic pain.

Tightness in hips

The hip flexor muscles get stiff if you are sitting for a long time. Prolonged sitting also causes discomfort and pain in the hip joints and other hip joint relate problems.

Weakness of legs and gluteal muscles

If you are used to sit for a long time then you should know that your large legs and gluteal muscles get weakens. These muscles are responsible to provide support and stabilize the body balance so not using these muscles develop the risk of injury form falls or strains at when exercising.

  So make sure to do lot of workout and avoid sitting for a long period to prevent this kind of situations.

Ways to reduce the effect of prolonged sitting

As it is mentioned above, prolonged sitting causes too much problems and movements in muscles and physical work leads a healthy lifestyle. Here are some of the ways are mentioned to counteract the effect of the prolonged sitting

  • Make sure to set alarm for every 30 minutes so that you can take a break after 30 minutes.
  • When you are watching your favorite serial or movie, try to stand for couple of minutes.
  • Always try to walk around your house when having a talk on phone so that physical movements increase.
  • Avoid using lift and try to run up and down the stairs.
  • In office hours always make sure to take a break and walk around the office to prevent prolonged sitting.
  • Make sure to go for a walk in the morning and evening.
  • If you are finding a way to avoid sitting, try some online workouts like cardio and zumba.

In short any activity which includes physical movements has beneficial effects on your health. As more exercise you do, the more calories will burn which leads a weight loss and energy also increases.

Physical movements not only prevent the effect of prolonged sitting, they also increase metabolism helps in muscle tone, coordination and mental health.

Although it is quite difficult to avoid sitting all day especially for those who are bound to work at the desk and people who are used to become couch potato, there are numerous small activities associated with the movements.

So, in order to live healthy life make sure to use ways that is associated with physical work.

Seeking professional help?

As mentioned above prolonged sitting causes many medical conditions. Slight changes in lifestyle help you to alleviate the pain and discomfort which is caused by the sitting for a long time.

But after changing the lifestyle and eating healthy diet, you are not feeling comfortable and experiencing chronic pain, consider this situation as a serious problem and go for the doctor (orthopedics).

Specialist do examines body and diagnose the problem areas. After identification of the problem doctors prescribes you the medication which help you to feel at ease and treatment.

Some exercise also recommended by the physiotherapists and orthopedics in order to enhance movements in joints and relief in the pain.

So don’t leave this untreated for a long time, just go to your doctor and get a treatment.

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