Prolonged sitting

Over the years researchers have linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns.

Some of the most obvious concerns are listed below:

Heart Disease

Recent research suggests that sitting for prolonged periods may be a significant factor in heart disease. In fact, research studies have found that people who spend much of the day sitting or engaged in other sedentary activities are more than twice as likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease.

Pancreatic problems

When sat for long periods, research suggests the pancreas may create more glucose than the body needs and it is thought that this may contribute to diabetes and other potentially serious health conditions.

Increased Cancer Risk

For reasons that are not yet clear, it seems that sitting too much, increases the risk for a number of cancers. One theory suggests that an excess insulin production linked to inactivity, spurs cell growth and may result in increased cancer risk.

Poor blood circulation

Poor blood circulation is another health risk that is associated with sitting for long periods. Legs may begin to retain fluid, which potentially can lead to conditions such as varicose veins, swollen ankles and even deep-vein thrombosis or (DVT) as it’s known. Given the nature of our desk job work, it becomes even more important for us in those periods to continue to keep our muscles moving.

Neck strain

Sitting for long periods can affect the neck muscles.  Unfortunately, few people sit correctly when working at a PC, have perfectly-designed chairs or work areas.  This leads us to sit in unnatural positions, such as leaning forward to see a computer screen or tilting our head to support a telephone handset and as a consequence may result in muscle strain in the upper neck and shoulders. It’s important we make ourselves aware of posture.

Back problems

Back problems are increased through prolonged sitting. Sitting for extended periods can cause discs to compress unevenly and together with the lack of use of abdominal muscles whilst sitting, can be the cause of many back problems.

Other obvious conditions include obesity, increased blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, high blood sugar and excess body fat, particularly around the waist.


7 Mar, 2015

6 thoughts on “Prolonged sitting

  1. Great information, Ilana! We all need to get off our butts and move more.

    A lack of exercise is one of the key factors with a lot of health problems. It also helps us feel better mentally.

  2. I find myself sitting for long periods, since it’s more comfortable for me than moving around.

    Even though it can be tiring for me, I try to push myself to do chores around the house; not just to keep the house clean but to move around.

    1. Thanks Maria. For you and me I think it’s about balance so that we do move around, but that we take rest when we need it. Generally speaking I think we all need to be mindful of how long we’re sitting for, so that we move when we think we’ve been sitting for too long.

      Doing chores around the house is always a good way of moving around, because we are exerting energy, but we’re not using too much, which is good for those of us who deal with CP.

  3. Well said Lisa! This is a great post and I’m pretty sure we’re all guilty of sitting around too much.

    I work at a desk all day but do try to have regular breaks and walk round a bit, as I know that sitting is really bad for your posture and your overall general health.

    1. I agree with you. Yes we should all do more, or at least be more mindful of how much time we do sit down and as you rightly say; sitting isn’t good for our general health.

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