7 Ways That Sitting Can Impact Your Health (and How to Avoid Them)

    AUGUST 6, 2021

    7 Ways That Sitting Can Impact Your Health (and How to Avoid Them)

    They say “Sitting is the new smoking” for a reason. Find out why and how to counteract the adverse effects of a sedentary job below:

    If your job requires you to sit throughout your day –– whether you work in an office or at home –– then this article is for you.

    As comfortable as it is, too much sitting can have serious health consequences.

    See, as humans, we’re meant to stand upright and move around. When we get too comfortable, our body doesn’t function as effectively.

    We don’t burn as many calories, our muscles and bones start to weaken, and our vital systems slow down…

    All of which can lead to health issues if we’re not mindful about how much time we spend sitting.

    So, how much is too much? What are the long-term consequences? And how can you combat these negative effects and protect your health?

    Follow along as we cover the potential risks of spending too much time on your behind, and some easy methods you can start using today to help prevent health problems.

    1. Sitting Can Decrease Your Life Expectancy

    In a study for the American Cancer Society, researchers found that those who sat for six or more hours a day had a 19% higher death rate from all causes than those who only sat for less than three.

    It’s unclear why this link exists, but the experts responsible for this study share a few different factors that may contribute to it:

    1. Sitting time may take the place of time you would otherwise be spending doing a light activity of some kind.
    2. We often snack while watching TV or working at our computers. Snacking can become an unhealthy habit if we’re not careful, leading to complications down the road.
    3. Too much sitting negatively affects your body’s hormone levels and immune function.

    More research is needed to find out what amount of sitting is safe on a daily basis, but there is one thing that the scientific community seems to agree on:

    Breaking up long bouts of sitting and moving more every day can be a big help.

    2. Too Much Sitting May Raise Your Chance of Becoming Overweight

    Movement, even the kind we don’t think about –– like standing, walking around the house, even bouncing your leg –– all takes energy.

    When you’re sitting down, you’re not expending as much energy as you would standing or moving around.

    In fact, your body burns two times more calories standing than it does sitting. The fewer calories you burn, the lower your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).

    The lower your TDEE goes –– without a reduction in calorie intake –– the higher your chances of gaining weight are.

    3. Sitting Could Contribute to the Development of Blood Sugar Complications

    Shockingly, even if you exercise regularly, you may still double your risk of developing blood sugar issues if you sit for too long throughout the day.

    These complications often occur because sitting for prolonged periods can slow your metabolism and increase insulin resistance.

    4. Sitting Too Often Could Lead to the Development of Cardiovascular Problems

    Piggybacking off number three, too much sitting could lead to heart health issues –often due to the blood sugar complications mentioned above. As with the previous risks, the reasons why need to be researched further.

    But most if not all the evidence we have now points to the fact that the more sedentary we are, the worse off our heart and blood vessels are likely to be.

    5. Sitting May Increase Your Risk of Developing Mental Health Issues

    Data from a 2013 study on sedentary jobs showed that workers who sat six or more hours a day reported higher mental distress levels than those who sat for less than three hours.

    This research further illustrates just how powerful the adverse effects of sitting can be, and on the other hand, the more we move, the better we may feel.

    6. Sitting Too Much May Weaken Your Muscles

    Remember, we humans are meant to be mobile. When we sit for too long, it can cause our joints and muscles to become stiff.

    Our muscles –– most often the hip flexors –– can actually shorten, become weaker, and even atrophy from underuse.

    Over time, you may develop back, neck, and hip issues due to the abnormal amount of pressure that sitting places on them.

    And these issues are only made worse if you sit with poor posture.

    7. Prolonged Sitting Can Lead to Aches and Discomfort

    A 2017 study of almost 500 office workers found that sitting for over six hours during a workday was associated with musculoskeletal issues in participants’ shoulders, lower backs, thighs, and knees.

    As we spend more time seated, the unique stress that it places on the body can wear down our joints and muscles, leading to mobility issues, aching, and lingering discomfort.

    Movement is Life

    As we’ve seen, the strange (and almost unnatural) position that sitting places the body in can contribute to problems throughout the body.

    But the good news is, the solution is quite simple: More movement!

    In addition to getting the recommended daily sixty to seventy-five minutes of exercise, there are plenty of ways you can counteract too much sitting throughout the day.

    Here are just a few ideas you can start using today:

    • Turn your workstation into an active one – This can include taking your phone calls standing up, investing in a standing desk, or setting a timer every thirty minutes to remind yourself to get up and take a short three to five-minute walk. Preferably, you could do all three!
    • Set daily or weekly goals to reduce your sitting timeDr. David Alter from the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute recommends cutting down your sitting time by fifteen to twenty minutes a day. Then, you can kick things up a notch and set weekly goals from there.
    • Boost your circulation and overall health at work with BEMER – BEMER devices emit a therapeutic signal through your body that stimulates healthy muscle cells for enhanced oxygen delivery, stress relief, relaxation, performance, and much more.* And the best part? You can reap these benefits while you work!

    When You Do Have to Sit, BEMER Can Help

    Of course, even when taking short breaks every thirty minutes, you still have to spend the bulk of your day sitting down.

    When you can’t avoid it, the BEMER Office-Pack can help fight the harmful effects of sitting.

    The Office-Pack includes the B.SIT applicator, which fits perfectly onto any office chair, couch, plane, or car seat.

    Use the B.SIT to stimulate local muscles and temporarily improve blood flow anywhere you spend long hours sitting, and your hips, lower back, and legs.

    Not only can this rise in blood flow help prevent blood from pooling in your legs, but it can also boost your energy levels, vitality, and overall wellbeing in just two eight-minute sessions a day.*

    Combined with the active habits we recommended above, BEMER can help protect you from the dangers of sitting and optimize your health from the inside out.*

    Get in touch with a distributor near you to get started today.

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    BEMER does not provide any medical advice or services. This device is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It should not be used for any purpose other than as described in the user manual. Please consult your own healthcare provider if you have any medical issues.

    ✝ Klopp R., Niemer W., Schmidt W.: Effects of various physical treatment methods on arteriolar vasomotion and micro hemodynamic functional characteristics in case of deficient regulation of organ blood flow. Results of a placebo-controlled, double-blind study; J Complement Integr Med. 2013;10(Suppl):S39-46, S41-9. doi: 10.1515/jcim-2013-0035

    BEMER USA LLC is a leader in the field of microcirculation. BEMER Group North America, 1989 Palomar Oaks Way, Carlsbad, CA 92011

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