Whether it’s long workday in the office, an evening sitting in front of the TV or hours playing a computer game — it’s easy to find yourself sitting down for most of the day. While sitting down for copious hours at a time may not seem like a big deal, it’s actually a dangerous problem. Perhaps after reading this article you’ll try to get out of your chair more and strive to be a little more active every day.
After reading the book, Get Up!: Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It written by Dr. James Levine, We are anxiousto share the author’s thoughts on how a sedentary lifestyle can be equated to dangerous addictions like alcoholism and the like.
The Cardiovascular System
One of the most serious consequences of a sedentary lifestyle is the risk of cardiovascular diseases like coronary heart disease or chronic hypertension. A life of continuous sitting weakens the muscles, deteriorates blood circulation and lowers the tone of blood vessels. A lack of physical activity is one of the main reasons for early atherosclerosis (a build-up of cholesterol plaques in the blood vessels of the heart). Also, an imbalance between the oxygen supply and consumption can occur, where the heart needs more oxygen than the blood is bringing.
An extensive study of more than 17,000 people over 13 years showed that people with sedentary lifestyles have a 54% greater risk of dying from a heart attack than those who are more active.
People who spend most of their day sitting at a desk suffer from a bad blood circulation in the lower limbs which can cause the development of varicose veins. While both genders can develop them, women are more likely to suffer from them. In addition to varicose veins being hereditary, they can also appear after sitting over long periods of time with your legs crossed. The act of the veins getting squeezed leads to the congestion of blood in different areas.
Poor blood circulation is also dangerous because it can lead to the development of blood clots. A clot can easily block up a vital blood vessel in the heart, lungs, or brain.
Carrying excess weight is one of the biggest consequences of a sedentary lifestyle. When sitting for prolonged periods of time, the metabolism slows down and your body burns fewer calories, storing the excess as fat.
As soon as a person sits down, the body lowers the fat burning process by 90%, their insulin level falls, and blood pressure increases. Over the past 50 years, a majority of jobs have changed with the times and now require more sitting behind a desk — which means no time to burn calories. At a standing job, your body burns up to 35% more calories than at a seated desk job.
Based on the law of energy balance, an active lifestyle is a key factor to maintaining a healthy body weight