Here Is Why To Avoid Sitting For Too Long

Andre Martin | Last Updated : January 3, 2024

How many hours do you spend sitting daily? If you are reading this, there is a great chance that you are sitting right now. But have you ever noticed that your body becomes agitated the longer you sit? Your body sits there counting down the moments until you stand up or walk again.

You might get the impression that your body loves to sit. The truth is that our bodies aren’t made for sitting for extensive periods. It is all right to sit for short periods as it can help you recover from stress or rejuvenate after exercise.  

Since the pandemic, our lifestyle has changed a lot. We are now sitting for extensive hours, and our lifestyle and daily routine have caused us to sit more than we move around.

The adults are as guilty of this as the kids. As a parent, you can encourage your kids to participate in outdoor activities, including swimming, in which case, you might as well opt for prescription goggles for kids to ensure they have a pleasant swimming experience.  

Nonetheless, the truth is that our bodies aren’t made for a sedentary lifestyle. As adults and kids, we must understand the importance of daily physical movement so we can delimit the potential risks of certain health issues, including obesity, cancers, and heart diseases.

Understanding the Human Anatomy

On the contrary, our bodies are explicitly designed to move, which is evident from the way our bodies are structured. Looking at the anatomy, you see that we have about 360 joints. The adult body has about 700 skeletal muscles that exist to enable fluid and easy motion.

The unique structure of our bodies gives us the ability to stand up straight, bend, stretch, and move around against the pull of gravity. Our bodily functions, such as blood flow, depend on our physical movements. For instance, if we move around, the blood will be able to circulate properly.

Similarly, our nerve cells depend on our physical movement, whereas our skin molds and adjusts to our motions. Now, if you look at things from a scientific viewpoint, you see that every inch of the human body is made to move and not sit, which is why the body keeps waiting for us to move.

What Happens if You Don’t Move?

Since our bodies are made to move, several things happen when we don’t move as much as we should. Your spine gets affected. Referring to the structure of the spine, it is made of bones and cartilage discs that keep the spine together.

With every bone, there are joints, muscles, and ligaments attached that keep the entire structure together. If you sit for a longer period of time, slumped over your desk, you sit in a position that puts uneven pressure on the spine. Over time, sitting in the same position for an extensive period causes wear and tear in the spinal discs. This sitting position also puts strain on muscles that stretch to adjust to this body position.

The lungs also get affected, which can cause a temporary limit on the amount of oxygen that you inhale. Also, when you sit, you don’t burn fat nearly as well when you move around. There are mental effects to a sedentary lifestyle as well.

Mostly, when people sit down, they do so to use their brains at work, study, or play games. However, the irony of the matter is that lengthy periods of sitting can actually counter this goal. When you sit, you are stationary, which can reduce blood flow and the amount of oxygen that enters the bloodstream through the lungs.

The brain requires both – oxygen and blood flow to be alert and productive. This aspect indicates that if you remain seated for a longer time, your concentration levels are more likely to dip as a response to the slowing down of your brain activity.

How to Avoid Sitting for Too Long

Even if you juggle two jobs that require you to sit for extensive hours, there are several things you can do to avoid experiencing the bad impact of a bad posture and sitting for too long. For instance, you could start by setting reminders every 40 minutes to get up, walk around, and stretch before resuming your sitting position.

Also, you will want to take leverage of the smaller things in life, such as using the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator; you could also stand on the bus instead of sitting. Use a standing desk when working on a laptop so that you can work while standing. When you are on the phone, you can walk around instead of sitting and talking.

Take regular walk breaks on busy days. It will help you to stay productive and feel rejuvenated when you are back at your desk. More importantly, you will want to swap television and screen time with some activities over the weekend.

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