Experts have dubbed millenials as the most sedentary generation. And they aren't totally wrong. Between jobs that keep them glued to a desk and Netflix marathons that keep them on the couch, sitting for a long period of time is just part of the norm. But you may want to start taking some walking breaks, because there are some seriously disturbing things that happen to your body when you sit for more than two hours.
Even if you regularly exercise, your health suffers when you sit back and relax. In an interview with CBS News, Chair of the American Heart Association Deborah Rohm Young highlighted just how common it is for you to sit daily for multiple hours and how that affects your body.
"Based on existing evidence, we found that U.S. adults are sedentary for about six to eight hours a day," Young said. That means you may be sitting for one third of your day, which leaves little to no room for your body to properly function and maintain good health. Not good.
Thankfully, you'll soon know the health risks from sitting for too long. With this newfound knowledge, you'll be able to be aware of how your body suffers and think of new ways to keep you out of harm's way. A little R&R now may cause some serious stress over your health later. Time to get up and moving.
1. You Add On The Pounds
According to research by the American Journal of Physiology- Cell Physiology, molecules that help you process sugars and fats stop effectively working when you sit. Simply standing to stretch or shake out your limbs can combat that.
2. Your Risk For Disease Increases
In an interview with Web MD, the Director of the Women's Health Center of Excellence at the University of California Dr. Andrea LaCroix said, sitting a lot has been linked to death from diseases such as heart disease. Web MD further noted that sitting too long causes muscles to burn less fat and blood flows sluggishly, which can cause heart disease.
3. You Get Major Headaches
According to the American Council on Exercise, too much sitting can cause headaches. The Council further noted that sitting with poor posture can cause headaches that result from tightness in your upper-back, shoulder and neck muscles.
4. You See Changes In Your Butt
In an interview with Self, co-founder of Bespoke Treatments Physical Therapy Dan Giordano said that your glutes basically shut down when you sit all day. Giordano further noted that you could feel pressure on your knees and ankles if your hips or glutes aren't put to work.
5. You Have Poor Circulation
According to The Washington Post, sitting has a negative impact on your circulation. The publication explained that slower blood circulation from sitting causes fluid to pool in your legs, creating problems like swollen ankles, varicose veins, and blood clots.
6. Your Digestive System Slows Down
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, sitting down after you eat messes with your digestive system. Mercola further noted that this slower digestion can lead to bloating and heartburn.
7. You Experience Depressive Symptoms
According to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a lack of physical activity and sitting for more than seven hours can be linked to depressive symptoms. Additionally, Psychology Today noted that depression can take away your motivation to move, and sitting a lot can make depression worse.
8. Your Muscles Ache
In an interview with Redbook, personal trainer Mark Schneider said that you may have aches and pains if you're not attentive to how you're sitting. Schneider further explained that you may experience tight hip muscles, and neck and back pain if you're careless about the way that you sit.
9. You Have An Increased Risk Of Death
According to research examined by The Mayo Clinic, you can have about a 50 percent increased risk of death if you sit for more than four hours from causes such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, compared to if you sat for less than two hours.
10. Your Calorie Burning Rate Drops
In an interview with The New York Times, inactivity researcher at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center Marc Hamilton said that your calorie burning rate plunges to about one per minute once you sit down. It's alarming when you realize that's a third of what it would be if you were walking.