The dangers of sitting too much


When it comes to our health, sitting down for extended periods of time is one of the worst things we can do. But for many of us, it’s a hard habit to break. We sit at our desks at work, we sit in our cars during our commutes, and we come home to plop down on the couch in front of the TV.

The average person spends about 9.3 hours each day sitting, according to a 2012 study. And that’s not counting the time we spend lying down.

All that sitting has consequences.

Studies have linked too much sitting to a host of health problems, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some forms of cancer.

One of the most troubling findings is that even if you exercise regularly, you’re still at increased risk for health problems if you spend most of the rest of the day sitting.

Sitting for long periods of time inhibits the production of enzymes in the body that are responsible for breaking down fat. This can lead to an increase in triglyceride levels, which are a type of blood fat that raises your risk for heart disease.

Sitting also causes the electrical activity in the muscles to slow down, which leads to a decrease in the “good” cholesterol that helps keep your arteries clear. And it promotes the formation of blood clots, which can cause a stroke.

Prolonged sitting has also been linked to an increased risk for some types of cancer, including colon, endometrial, and lung cancer.

But it’s not just the time you spend sitting that matters, it’s also how you sit. Slouching in your chair can put extra stress on your spine, leading to back pain.

The good news is that even small changes can make a big difference.

Standing up and moving around for just a few minutes every hour can help offset the health risks of sitting. And taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day can help reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

So if you’re looking to improve your health, it’s important to find ways to move more throughout the day. And that means standing up for your health – literally.

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