The average adult spends a minimum of 8 hours a day sitting down. This is largely because of work as they tend to spend that time at their work desk. Then, there’s all the sitting down at home, either at the dinner table or in their favorite couch in front of the TV.
The point is that people spend the bulk of their waking moments on their bottoms, and this poses significant danger to their health. Studies have already shown that prolonged sitting may likely be the new smoking.
This is because it has been linked to various health conditions including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome –a group of conditions that are capable of leading to terminal illnesses. Here’s more on how sitting too much might be hurting you.
Poor or Subpar Mental Health
Too much sitting may affect your mental health and well-being. Humans are built for movement. This is why when you sit for too long, you’ll find your mental acuity slowing down.
But the moment you get up to move around, it feels like your brain picks up and starts working optimally. Also, while there’s no definitive study on how sitting excessively affects people’s mental health, studies have shown that people who do so are more prone to depression and anxiety.
It’s possible that these conditions are brought on by the lack of positive effects that physical activity provides.
Serious Lower Back Pain
Prolonged sitting has also been identified as the cause of severe lower back pain. According to the Journal of Spine Surgery, it puts a lot of strain on the spinal discs.
Over time, and with age, this can easily lead to herniated discs for which you’ll require treatment or surgeries such as those carried out by neurosurgical and spine specialists at ispine.com.au.
If you’re dealing with episodes of lower back pain, sciatica, herniated or compressed discs, and other musculoskeletal conditions linked to sitting for too long, you need to get treatment and start being more active.
According to this study released by the Annals of Internal Medicine, sitting too much has been linked to early from any cause. In fact, those who sat for 60-120 minutes at a time, were at risk of dying early even if they worked out moderately.
People who sat down for no more than 30 minutes had the lowest risk of dying early from sitting-related illnesses and conditions. So, if you do have to sit down for work, do yourself a favor and make an effort to get up and move around every 30-40 minutes.
And make sure to avoid a total sitting or sedentary time of 12 hours a day. This seems to be the tipping point for accelerating one’s demise. This will keep you alive and in good health for a longer period of time.
With every opportunity you get, make sure to get some exercise or physical activity, no matter how little. You can also get standing or treadmill desks to help you stay active and prevent you from sitting for too long.