Negative Effects of Prolonged Sitting

Many of us in today’s society are forced to sit for prolonged periods of time without realizing how detrimental to our health and well-being it truly is. We sit on our commute to and from work, we sit all day at work, and then we get home and sit of the rest of the evening. What is all this sitting doing to our bodies? Most people are not even aware that prolonged sitting has a negative effect on the body.

Researchers are now becoming more interested in the negative effects prolonged sitting has on the body. We have seen many articles in the media stating that sitting is the new smoking, but what does the research show? Well to start, it shows that our bodies muscle has little activity when we sit. This decreases blood circulation throughout the body. It also increases health risks such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and back pain. By decreasing the amount of prolonged sitting that we do throughout the day, we are also decreasing these health risk as well.

One would think that going to the gym on a daily basis would be the answer. This is not the case. Prolonged sitting is an independent factor to these health risks. The solution lies in the interruption of prolonged sitting itself. Many people spend most of their waking hours sitting, but what should we do to counteract all the sitting. The most obvious answer is to get up and walk around. Give yourself as many little breaks throughout the day as you can. Let it be the rule of thumb that after sitting for thirty minutes, stand up and do a quick set of stretches or walk around for a few minutes. You can even stand up and walk on the spot for a minute. Try doing this at work or at home and avoid prolonged sitting at all costs. It could be doing more damage than we are aware of.

Article written by Dr. Salem Fares, DC

*Dr. Fares practices at the OWC Trans Canada location