Negative Effects of Sitting For Long Periods (Pt. 1)

indexHaving an office job can be pretty hard on your body. Sitting for long periods of time has been linked to many adverse health effects we all want to avoid. You may have even heard sitting for too long be compared to smoking. The human body is made to move. When we deny our bodies of frequent movement, such as when we are sitting for our 9-5 job, we can literally measure the negative effects adding up.

Sitting for extended periods of time, or simply too much, can increase chances of many types of cancers. It has been linked to an increased likelihood of developing heart disease and other heart problems. You can even experience digestion problems that are linked with sitting for too long. Especially if you sit while eating and remain sitting after, you can prevent your digestive system from functioning properly. This can lead to bloating, heartburn or constipation.

You can also experience muscles atrophy in many of the muscles that are neglected while sitting. When you are standing and moving around many of the muscles in our bodies are engaged and used at least to a small extent. When you are sitting you don’t engage your abs, your glutes are neglected, and many muscles in your legs can begin to lose their muscle strength. This is not an immediate effect but if you are sitting for hours a day, you will begin to lose that muscle definition and strength.

Sitting is also a concern for our bodies because most people do not know how to sit with good posture. Having bad posture can lead to aches and pains throughout our bodies. The head, neck and shoulders are one common complaint because many people sit forward to look at a computer screen or stress their shoulders and neck trying to hold a phone between their head and shoulders many times a day.

Back pain is nearly synonymous with having a desk job. While sitting, the disks in your back are compressed. This is not what they are made for. The disks in your spine are meant to expand and move with your body’s natural movements. After not being used for long periods of time everyday for many weeks or months the disks in your back can actually lose their ability to be flexible and move which causes even more back pain and more problems with posture and sitting.