Does your job require you to sit all day long? Your case is no different from mine. At first, I thought that sitting all day long was no big issue as far as I achieved my goals at the end of the day.
It didn’t take long before I started developing pain and discomfort on my back, knees, legs and shoulders. It reached a time and my entire body was painful. However, I started doing research on sitting for long hours and how to manage it.
I was fortunate to learn my new way of life of getting up and strolling around once I am done with few chapters or paragraph. This habit has changed my life and I am more in love with sitting jobs now than before. If you sit to work, you need to learn the impact of sitting for long hours. It is the new smoking, so they say.
According to Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University Obesity Initiative, sitting for long hours and later getting up enhances the occurrence of many molecular cascades. For instance, after you have stood up in a period of 90 seconds, the cellular & muscular systems responsible for blood sugar processes, triglycerides & cholesterol are activated.
The reason behind the activation of all the said molecular effects is as a result of carrying your entire body weight. Such cellular mechanism also improves transfer of fuel into an individual’s cells. If this happens often, obesity and diabetes risk is reduced considerably.
The human body was made to stay active & moving all the time at a molecular level. Sitting all day long affects your body negatively as cellular & muscular mechanism stay inactive.
What happens when you sit for long?
When I spent more hours sitting without getting up, most of my body organs were faced by a high risk of damage.
These include major organs, for instance;
The heart – Whenever an individual is seated, there is less blood flow and less fat is burned in the muscles. This increases the chances of fatty acids building up in the heart eventually leading to heart problems.
Pancreas – The ability of the body to respond to the hormone insulin is negatively affected if you spend more hours sited. This, in turn, leads to excess production of insulin by the pancreas which causes diabetes in turn.
Colon cancer – Had I not known about the risks involved in sitting for long hours without getting up, I would be telling a different story now. This is because working without getting up means increased breast, colon & endometrial cancer risks. Why sitting for many hours increases cancer risks isn’t established yet but is suspected that it is as a result of the production of excess insulin enhancing cell growth.
Poor digestion – I always complained of bloating & other digestive issues long before I started getting up and walking rather than spending the whole day seated. Sitting made my abdominal contents to squeeze thus slowing the digestion process. This led to bloating, constipation, heartburn & dysbiosis in my gastrointestinal tract. It was always such a messy life. However, I can now smile since my health is the best and my secret is to get up and walk whenever I have to sit and work.
Verdict? Get up, move around, get your coffee. It helps.