The human body was designed to work hard. Hunting, gathering, and farming all require physical exercise, which keeps the human body active. In today’s society, we treasure the modern conveniences that allow us to both work and relax from the comfort of our desk chair or recliner. While these conveniences make life easier, they also ensure that we do not get the movement and exercise our bodies need. This exercise is critical to keeping us functioning at peak performance. Furthermore, spending time at the gym may not be enough to combat the negative effects of spending eight hours a day in uninterrupted sitting time. Here are some adverse effects of sitting too long, and ways you can get out of your chair to improve your health.
12. Shorter Life
A study by the Cancer Prevention Study II (CPS-II) Nutrition Cohort followed 127,554 healthy men and women from 1993 to 2014. This study showed that sitting more than six hours a day during leisure time, as opposed to less than three hours per day, resulted in a higher risk of death. Those who spent more time sitting were more likely to die from cardiac disease, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, and suicide. To prolong your life, don’t go straight from the desk chair at work to your couch at home. Make time for an after-dinner walk, watch your favorite television programs from your treadmill instead of your recliner, or grab a friend for a game of racquetball after work.
It’s not surprising that sitting too much causes obesity; 25 years ago, research at Harvard linked watching television to obesity. Cut time spent watching TV to two hours a day or less. While you can control time spent sitting in front of your television, it can be harder to control the time that must be spent sitting at work. To keep yourself from sitting in one place too long, set a timer for 30 minutes and get up to walk for five minutes. Drinking plenty of water while working at your desk will keep you hydrated, and ensure you get up to take frequent restroom breaks.