Becoming a couch potato is bad for you in every way possible. You spend days not working out, stay seated for long periods of time and stick to a sedentary lifestyle. This lifestyle involves a lot of sitting and laying down, with little to no activity.
People are spending lots of time undertaking sedentary activities in not just the United States, but throughout the globe. We spend a lot of our free time sitting: on a computer or other gadgets, playing video games, watching TV, or working long hours while seated at the office. Many of our occupations have grown increasingly sedentary, requiring us to sit at a desk for lengthy periods of time. Even most of our commuting requires us to be seated in buses, vehicles, and trains.
Rapid technological advancements (think: automobiles, TVs, computers, etc.) HAVE started to eat away at physical activity in the mid-20th century, and as technology did more of our labor, people grew more sedentary.
Prolonged Sitting Has Negative Effects on Metabolism
If you are wondering how prolonged sitting affects metabolism, there are many ways in which it can damage your digestive system!
The Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the amount of energy used by the body when resting in a temperate environment with the digestive system inactive. It determines the risk of acquiring a chronic illness. A person with a lower metabolic rate becomes obese, or, to put it another way, the physiology of a person with a low BMR tends to accumulate fat quickly. This causes obesity and a high body mass index (BMI), increasing the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and even depression.
A person who engages in prolonged sitting has a low BMR because they do not use the energy from meals while they are at rest as opposed to when they are moving. Energy from meals is stored as fat all-around body's organs, causing them to operate less effectively and leading to chronic disorders.
As more fat is accumulated on the walls of blood arteries, the blood flow pressure rises, leading to high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.
Eating unhealthy foods, including processed meals, sweets, fried foods, or junk, increases the chance of acquiring chronic illnesses or even early mortality, in addition to sedentary behaviors.
Sitting for long periods of time, as well as a lack of activity, may be harmful to metabolic and cardiovascular health. However, your brain, like the rest of your body, relies on normal glucose metabolism and blood flow to function effectively.
Mental Health Consequences of Prolonged Sitting
A few of the psychological impacts of sitting might be attributed to what individuals do when sitting. Instead of relating emotionally with people, they may look at an electronic screen. Instead of interacting intellectually with the world, they may watch random TV programming. Alternatively, instead of refining their concentration, they may multitask incessantly, darting between professional emails, social media, personal messages, and the internet. Here are the different ways how prolonged sitting affects mental health.
Sitting and Stress
A number of recent research have investigated the emotional consequences of excessive sitting. Here are some examples:
Anxiety and Depression
Research of over 3,300 Australian government employees revealed that those who sat for more than six hours during a normal workday were far more likely to score moderate to high on a psychological distress test than those who sat for less than three hours. This was true independent of how much exercise they received in their spare time.
Another study found that around 9,000 women in their fifties discovered that those who sat for 7 hours per day and were physically inactive were three times more likely to experience depression symptoms than those who sat for less than 4 hours and got the recommended daily amount of physical activity. Despair and sitting may have a two-way relationship: depression saps people's energy and ambition to exercise while sitting can exacerbate depression.
A Decrease in Wellbeing
Researchers looked examined how much non-work time individuals spend sitting down to use a computer, watch TV, ride in a car, or socialize using data from a nationwide wellness initiative in the United Kingdom. A general health survey measured the individuals' mental health. They discovered that spending a lot of non-work computer time was linked to decreased mental wellbeing in both men and women. Long hours of television viewing and a total number of hours of non-work prolonged sitting seemed to have a harmful influence on women.
Take action to protect yourself: If you work at a desk, look for ways to include more movement breaks into your day. Also, think about how you use your spare time: it's critical to schedule gym time or a run on a regular basis. However, don't expect a daily half-hour of activity to totally offset the negative consequences of spending more than 11 hours in a chair.
Other Harmful Consequences of a Sedentary Lifestyle
A low-calorie diet is suggested for persons who lead sedentary lives; yet, in today's society, with many ready-to-eat alternatives brought to doorsteps in minutes, this is hard to achieve.
The negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle are not only physical but also mental and social, as we have learned.
Let's take a look at some other side effects of prolonged sitting on the body.
1. Intestinal Ulcer Risk or Cancer Risk: People who are addicted to their televisions are more likely to get ulcers and cancers because they consume junk food and drink fizzy beverages. This kind of eating may cause an increase in bile production, leading to damage to your stomach lining, ulcers, and bleeding in the intestines and stomach. Junk food demands more bile to process, and if the extra bile isn't used, the bile duct may get clogged, resulting in stones and creating tumors that can become malignant.
2. Diabetes Risk: A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes since the sugars generated by diets are not used, and blood sugar levels rise.
3. Increased Risk of Degenerative Diseases: Since there is little or no exposure to sunlight, there is a higher risk of degenerative disorders, particularly of the back and spine, such as lumbar and cervical spondylosis or osteoarthritis in the knee joints or the spine. This may cause a shortage in calcium and Vitamin D in the body, which can weaken the spine and bones and lead to osteoporosis.
4. Lethargy and Sleepiness: People who live sedentary lives are more likely to be sluggish and drowsy, which may contribute to impaired brain performance and memory. Because the brain receives less blood, the development of neurons and synaptic connections between neurons decreases, leading to a loss of cognition in brain areas that deal with learning and memory.
5. Juvenile Diabetes: Sedentary children are more likely to acquire juvenile diabetes, osteoporosis, ADHD, or autism. They have physical aches, are sedentary, are overweight at an early age, and are susceptible to vitamin deficiencies.
6. Pregnant women who have become obese as a result of a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to birth underweight or preterm infants, according to studies. Less physical activity in pregnancy increases the risk of gestational diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, which may necessitate a Cesarean section birth.
Solutions for Prolonged Sitting
While we recommend switching to a standing desk so that you have increased physical activity while working, it can be a good idea to get an ergonomic chair that supports your body properly too. The Soutien Ergonomic Office is built with 3D lumbar support. It has 3 adjustable height levels as well as a gentle rebound system that curves around the back to support the neck and spine. This achieves the maximum lumbar support and headrest you need to work comfortably even while sitting for long periods.
The 4D adjustability of the armrests and 135° lounge tilt offers the best seating experience. The flexibility of the armrests ensures that they conform effortlessly according to the elbows and arms for enhanced comfort. The chair has K+R temperature-sensitive fibers and a chenille that offers the best ventilation so that you can stay cool as you work.
Ensuring that you have an ergonomic desk to work on is quite important. Bad ergonomics, coupled with prolonged working hours, can have a negative and dire impact on your physical and mental health.