Everybody knows smoking is a potential risk factor behind heart disease but not many people know how their poor routine and sedentary lifestyle acts as a synergistic factor in the causation and worsening of heart disease. Sitting for long periods has profound negative impacts on your health. A number of researches suggest that sitting for long periods of time is a risk factor for early death. Let’s find out how:
WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY WHEN YOU SIT A LOT?
Sitting all day can be very damaging to your body. Here are some of the things that happen in your body when you spend too much time sitting.
a.) Blood flow slows down, which allows fatty acids to build up in the blood vessels. This can lead to heart disease.
b.) Your body’s ability to process fats is decreased. When your body doesn’t use fat, it gets stored.
c.) Sitting can lead to insulin resistance, which can cause type 2 diabetes and obesity, two risk factors for heart disease.
d.) Sitting for extended periods causes weakening of bones and can result in pain, inflammation, bone spurs, and other symptoms.
e.) When you don’t use your muscles, they can lose strength and the ability to support other body systems.
f.) Sitting too often and a sedentary lifestyle can result in a slowed metabolism which can lead to obesity and thereby resulting in a manifold increase in the risk of heart disease.
g.) Sitting can lead to negative effects throughout the body, including increasing your risk for heart disease.
WAYS TO CUT DOWN ON YOUR SITTING TIME AND COUNTERACT THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS
We hear a number of people complaining that their job requires too much sitting and they do not get time to walk around. Here are some tips to help you counteract the negative effects of sitting too much:
a.) Take frequent breaks to move, walk, and stretch.
b.) Get up at least once an hour and walk around for a few minutes. Try using an app on your phone or desktop to remind you to move, or get a smartwatch and set it to alert you that it’s time to get up and take a movement break.
c.) Get regular aerobic exercise – at least an hour per day.
d.) Watch your posture. Poor posture can exacerbate the negative effects of sitting. If you slouch or sit with a bent back, it can be detrimental to your health. Try to maintain a good posture, you can even try using a stability ball to encourage good posture or make a point to sit up straight.
The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, sex, or physical ability. Always remember to opt for an exercise regimen that you enjoy and be consistent with it to avoid the disease burden arising as a result of the sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity.
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