You’ve heard it before – it’s not great to sit all day. But have you ever looked at the reasons why? It’s pretty scary!
If you sit for six hours a day, whether you’re at work, in class, or just vegging on the couch, then your risk of heart disease has increased by up to 64 percent, you’re shaving off seven years of quality life, and you’re also more at risk for certain types of cancer.
Immediately After Sitting
It’s difficult to get an accurate assessment of what sitting all day will do to you because the effects work in tandem with diet and other risk factors. So we’re going to start with a relatively healthy person who does not drink in excess, smoke, and who isn’t overweight. Then we’ll estimate the effects of sitting for over six hours a day based on what starts happening immediately after you sit down. For a general overview of the effects, take a look at this chart from Medical Billing and Coding to see a breakdown of what that happens in your body when you sit down. (If the majority of your sitting time takes place at a desk, keep in mind that a standing deskhas its own problems, too.)
Right after you sit down, the electrical activity in your muscles slows down and your calorie-burning rate drops to one calorie per minute. This is about a third of what it does if you’re walking. If you sit for a full 24-hour period, you experience a 40 percent reduction in glucose uptake in insulin, which can eventually cause type 2 diabetes.
After Two Weeks of Sitting for More Than Six Hours a Day
Within five days of changing to a sedentary lifestyle, your body increases plasma triglycerides (fatty molecules), LDL cholesterol (aka bad cholesterol), and insulin resistance. This means your muscles aren’t taking in fat and your blood sugar levels go up, putting you at risk for weight gain. After just two weeks your muscles start to atrophy and your maximum oxygen consumption drops. This makes stairs harder to climb and walks harder to take. Even if you were working out every day the deterioration starts the second you stop moving.
After One Year of Sitting More Than Six Hours a Day
After a year, the longer term effects of sitting can start to manifest subtly. According to this study by Nature, you might start to experience weight gain and high cholesterol. Studies in woman suggest you can lose up to 1 percent of bone mass a year by sitting for over six hours a day.
After 10-20 Years of Sitting More Than Six Hours a Day
Sitting for over six hours a day for a decade or two can cut away about seven quality adjusted life years (the kind you want). It increases your risk of dying of heart disease by 64 percent and your overall risk of prostate or breast cancer increases 30 percent.
If this looks bad, don’t worry. As little as getting up for a few minutes an hour and taking a brisk walk will get that blood pumping, but make some time to exercise 30 minutes a day, even if it’s just a quick surf or skate!
Article courtesy of: www.lifehacker.com