Why Sitting Is Bad For You

We all know that a sedentary lifestyle can wreak havoc on the body. If you’re like a large amount of Americans, you spend at least 8 hours a day sitting down. If your job requires you to sit at a desk, you may be at risk for a host of conditions as you age.

While sitting is not inherently bad for you, the amount of time that Americans spend in front of their computers or on the couch is a huge contributor to disease. Why is that the case?

Why do we sit so much?

Unfortunately, our society is set up in a way that makes sitting for long periods of time less of a choice and more of a necessity. If you hold a job where you sit at a desk for 8 hours a day, it’s difficult to get up and move as much as you should. Standing desks are a start, but are no replacement for exercise. Studies show that even with exercise, sitting for long periods every day can greatly increase your risk of disease.

The role inactivity plays in our health

Like most things, sitting is not harmful if done in moderation. Sitting is so ingrained into our culture that it seems like seconds nature. Work, socializing, studying and travelling are all typically done from a seated position. So, how can one of our most natural positions be so harmful to our health?

It’s like eating. It’s a necessary part of your life, but if you do too much of it, you pose a serious risk to your health.

Inactivity in general is linked to obesity. Longer sitting hours mean less physical activity, which means less calorie burning and more weight gain.  With obesity comes a host of other problems. Obesity is a known cause of conditions like heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. All of these conditions can lead to shorter lives.

What can you do?

We get it. If your job requires you to sit for long periods of time, there isn’t too much you can do to eliminate the issue altogether. However, you do have control of what you do outside of work. If you get home from work every day and plop down on the couch to watch TV, that’s a problem too.

Be sure to incorporate plenty of exercise into your after-work routine. If you can, go on a walk during your lunch break. Get up and move as frequently as you can.

If you would like more advice on how to minimize your risk, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with us, contact Heritage Integrative HealthCare at our Falmouth, Maine location.