ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sitting For Long Hours Is Silently Killing You

Updated on May 9, 2020
Philip Agutu profile image

Philip Agutu has been writing for HubPages since 2017. He is a devoted Writer and Researcher on various topics. He loves to share info.

Is Sitting For too Long Harmful?

Yes! Make sure you take breaks at your work setting.
Yes! Make sure you take breaks at your work setting. | Source

Introduction

Spending too much time on an office desk, possibly to meet a deadline or impress a superior, will do you more harm than you know. Sitting for long in front of the computer or any other extended sitting such as behind the wheel or TV may not only result in a widened rear end, bad hips and thighs, obesity, or weak legs muscles, but may also reduce your life span.

According to medical researchers and experts, this includes lying down for too long without major bodily movements. In the experts’ conclusion, when the total sedentary time increases, so do an early death by any cause.

Freelancer.
Freelancer. | Source

How long is sitting too long?

When you sit for long periods in a hunched or upright posture, without taking a 30 minutes break every 2 to 3 hours, you will limit the amount of oxygen flow to your heart because of compressed lungs. Sitting upright for shorter periods is fine, but when it extends beyond 6 hours with no break, you risk shortening your lifespan.

There are risks despite being at the gym often!

At the gym.
At the gym. | Source

What are the health risks of sitting at a desk all-day?

Various health risks may occur to your body if you spend long hours behind your computer doing that freelance gig.

1. Increased Cardiovascular risks

Less oxygen intake because of sitting for too long causes blood circulation to slow down; this means less oxygen to your brain and low concentration. In prolonged periods of less oxygen in the body called hypoxia, some tissue may lose its function due to lack of enough oxygen-rich blood flow. This may hurt your heart and possibly result in cardiovascular health risks such as heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, among other sitting too long side effects.

Spending some time in the gym or exercising is a very healthy activity that may put-off these conditions. However, not taking the precaution of not sitting for long hours without the breaks doesn’t help. Since cardiovascular diseases are a risk factor for early death, sitting for too long can well be seen as a “silent killer”.

Depression due to poor social engagements.
Depression due to poor social engagements. | Source

2. Depression and memory loss

Reduction in blood circulation makes it hard for the hormones associated with good feelings to make their way to your receptors. Spending many hours not doing any physical activity means you are reducing the size of your social life. Memory loss occurs because of a slowed-down brain function. This can lead to loneliness, depression, anxiety, and lower mental well-being.

Low back pain resulting from excess pressures of long sitting hours.
Low back pain resulting from excess pressures of long sitting hours. | Source

3. Lower back pain and altered posture

Sitting in a slouched or hunched over position can put strains on the discs (fluid-filled cushions that protect the vertebrae from rubbing together. Because of the long hours of inadequate sitting positions, the lower back may be put under increased pressure from gravity and fatigue leading to lower back pain. This can increase the risks of an altered posture and alignment which can lead to neck pain, shoulder spurs or impingement syndrome, trigger points, and even disc degeneration.

Diabetes
Diabetes | Source

4. Increases the risks of diabetes

According to various conducted researches, the strongest risk of prolonged sitting is diabetes. Being sedentary means fewer calories are being burned. This may change the way your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that helps it burn sugar and carbohydrates. In a sedentary setting, the insulin levels can be raised and enzyme activity decreased, resulting in diabetes. It is, therefore, important for people with type 2 diabetes or those at risk of the disease to avoid sitting for long hours without taking breaks.

5. Deep Vein Thrombosis risks

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a clot that will form in your leg if you have the habit of sitting for long hours in front of your computer. If the clot breaks free and lodges in your heart, it may be life-threatening. DVT may or may not manifest symptoms (swelling and pain).

6 Obesity

Metabolism and the body’s ability to metabolize fat are actively reduced when one sits for long hours without being active. From conducted researches, you burn 30 percent more calories when standing than when sitting. It is, therefore, recommended to be physically active so as to decrease the health risks being overweight, which in turn, may trigger other critical conditions.

Cancer
Cancer | Source

7. Cancer

From several pieces of research conducted, it is seen that sitting or lying down for long hours without physical engagement increases the risks of lung cancer by 54%, uterine cancer by 66%, and colon cancer by 30%.

8. Overall mortality is adversely effected from too much sitting

You can also die because of any disease by 49% compared to one who avoids sitting for long inactive hours. From a vast number of conducted researches on the same; people who sat for less than 30 minutes at a time had the lowest risk of early death. This concludes that the price of living an inactive lifestyle is high!

How to be Active

Tips to avoid a sedentary life

A sedentary lifestyle may seem hard to avoid, but the cost associated with it is too much and can be expensive in the future. This calls for the need to change one’s lifestyle to an active one.

Outlined below are some tips that you can use to avoid sitting or lying for too long in any situation, whether at the office, college, or home.

Take the stairs!
Take the stairs! | Source
  • You can take short breaks from your computer or gigs and perform a random activity such as going to the kitchen for a glass of cool juice or to the bathroom. To achieve this, avoid working with a drink closely.
  • You can use the staircase instead of the lift at work.
  • Another important tip, whether you are a student or a worker, is to plan your work schedule well enough such that you don’t have a workload that demands long working hours.
  • Instead of watching a favorite movie series all day long, play a favorite music channel and dance to the rhythms of the music after watching 2 to 3 episodes of a movie. This is a great way to burn calories, ensure a healthy lifestyle, and great enjoyment.
  • One can play video games that involve physical activities. This can be fun and may involve children or other family members.
  • When at home you can do some physical activities within the house or compound such as interior design and painting, lawn mowing, planting and watering flowers, and other outdoor activities.
  • Another great and creative way to avoid sitting or lying for long while at home includes buying a magnetic dartboard online to play darts with family members.
  • Spending some time in the kitchen is also great for staying engaged and active. One can make new delicious recipes, do the dishes, and perform other cleaning activities within the kitchen.
  • A visit to the gym or a home-work-out can be of much use to burn out any extra calories.

Conclusion

Finally, to increase your life span and suppress any cardiovascular conditions risks because of sitting for too long, having a personal set of rules and self-discipline is crucial. When you feel that you have sat or lay down for long periods, taking personal breaks is important for your health’s sake.

Was this article helpful?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Philip Agutu

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Philip Agutu profile imageAUTHOR

      Philip Agutu 

      11 months ago from Mombasa Island

      Many thanks Miebakagh. It's a good reminder to me as a writer.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      11 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hi, this is a good article with the right information. It is a good read. Thanks.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)