Think Tank

This Is What Sitting Too Long Does To Your Body

This Is What Sitting Too Long Does To Your Body


The IT revolution has brought many comforts into our lives but it has also gradually helped us to become lazier. Through the centuries, our comforts and luxuries have slowly amplified and have now reached that peak point where everything is available at the tap of a button. As a consequence, we are now spending most of our time sitting. Jobs, commute to our jobs and many other such activities are filled with us doing things from a position of rest.

Do you have a similar, sedentary lifestyle where you sit for more than two hours at a stretch? Does your job involve long periods of sitting? Then you should be warned that excessive sitting leads to a lot of harm. Here are just a handful of the consequences:

Diabetes: Scary, yet true. You are susceptible to diabetes because your body’s capacity to break down sugars goes down.

Obesity: This is a more obvious result we see in everyday lives. If you do not move around much, you start to gain weight. Repeated years of sitting down with no physical activity ends up becoming a major reason for obesity.

Cancer and heart disease: There is a lot of research that supports the hypothesis of increased hours of sitting putting a sedentary person at higher risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, as opposed to a more active person.

Posture problems of shoulder, neck and back: With age, excessive sitting leads to problems in posture, pain when you expect it the least and, worse still, when you do expect it like at the end of a long day. The shoulder, neck and back are the most vulnerable body parts when it comes to bad posture and excessive sitting.

Muscle degeneration: As with all things in nature, if you do not use something, it becomes weak and begins to fade. The same is true of our legs. If we are sitting too much too long and not using our legs, the bones and muscles go weak. After years of abuse, complications such as those of the knee occur.

Obviously, these are not pleasant outcomes, no matter how cushy your job or lifestyle is. Fortunately, there are things which can be done to counter these harmful effects. We have compiled a list for you. Feel free to add to it and get more creative about how you can go from sedentary to “movement”-ary!

  • Take 5-10 minute breaks every one hour. If nothing, just stand up and gently stretch your limbs.
  • Twice a day, do simple yoga stretches wherever you are.
  • See if you can walk over and have a discussion with a colleague instead of sending them an email.
  • Walk laps with your colleagues instead of sitting down for a meeting, if possible.
  • Walk around while talking on the phone, even if you have to walk in circles or pace up and down a small lobby. Movement is the key.
  • Do some forgotten chores in the house such as cleaning your room/desk.
  • Try to cycle to work.
  • Take the stairs, skip the elevator.


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