Sitting Too Long For Hours Could Be Dangerous For Your Health
Did you know that when they were invented, the remote control was called ‘Lazybones’? Because it was designed for a demographic that wanted to switch the channels without getting up from their seat?
Man has had, till now, an interesting evolutionary history. He has outlived predators many, many times his size and strength, and killed and eaten prey that could simply trample him. He has forced the soil to grow things and stopped rivers.
All thanks to one simple thing, if you think about it.
Yes, I said it.
Man has always been either scared or lazy or both.
Hence the phrase, do it better. Which literally means, let it get done on its own while I take my siesta.
Today, the story might seem different but the biological impact really isn’t.
Today we live in the age of the corporation, huge conglomerates that have their tentacles in every hole imaginable. There’s a lot of cash involved, obviously and a lot of manpower.
Five-day work-week, each ten gruelling hours long.
Yes. True. I hear you. Amen.
But, it was ten hours of sitting wasn’t it? In most cases, in an air-conditioned white room was it not?
Think about it. How many hours do you actually spend walking or roaming or even standing?
Most of you must be feeling pretty guilty by now, aren’t you?
Well, let’s take this a notch higher.
According to the Annals of internal medicine, an average American man spends more than half of his waking hours in an inert state. Ironically enough, even our catchphrase for sex is ‘Netflix and chill’. Goes to show you the depth of the issue at hand.
The number of things you can do to your body by sitting all day long is a long one. We will limit this to the nastiest ones.
If you are REALLY lucky you will get away with chronic back ache, maybe spondylitis or spine pain. If not, and God helps you if that happens, you will contract obesity, pressure fluctuations, diabetes and of course, heart conditions.
(Detailed Infographic at the end of the article)
1. Ache issues
Our body works on a principle of negative feedback. If there is usage, an organ will grow larger and larger. For example, there are cases where babies are born with one kidney which proliferates and takes on the capacity of two kidneys.
For organs that don’t see much use, there is disintegration. Example, the appendix.
Same when we work out. Our muscles increase because there is increased blood flow and nutrients reach where they must.
When you do not use a large majority of your awake time on a chair or on a bed, you are depriving a number of your major muscles their fair amount of work. Now there might not be a factory strike, but there will be a conflict: ACHE.
It can start in your legs, or your back or even your head. And it won’t go easily. That is the red flag right there: pain that doesn’t go away easy.
Your neck is the next to succumb because it gets too much of work. Your posture deteriorates rapidly causing it further distress and God forbid if you slump, slouch, walk with a hunch or carry a big bag everyday to work and back.
2. Disk damage
Your knees particularly, have a disk called a patella which helps move them. Similar disks are found in other parts of your body too. Joints need them to help in movement.
When you get up from your chair after a long day at work, you hear cracking noises up your spine and in your knees, don’t you?
It’s these disks getting back into position.
3. Atlas vertebra
That’s the vertebra that holds your cranium up. That’s what keeps your head in the position it stays in.
Keep doing that nine hours a day and you will face issues.
4. Ball and socket joint issues
Example your hips and shoulders. They will lose their all-over flexibility and moving abilities.
They will face more friction because that’s what happens when you don’t use a machine too often.
Believe it or not, when you work out your body just utilizes more energy as a whole. And 20% of all energy is taken by the brain.
So there might be, contrary to popular belief, a correlation between muscle power and brain power.
When you don’t use your muscles much, your body reduces its oxygen intake as a whole.
The brain suffers the most in the process as you sit and sit and sit some more.
Also, there is something called brain fog that you might have noticed. This is the slight slowing of brain function after a long day sitting, staring at the screen.
This is something serious and most common among corporate employees. This is an unnatural overextension of the spine.
Moreover flexibility is lost over time as the abs have literally no work to do. They lose their natural tendency to contract and relax.
This makes it difficult to do a number of things, among them having sex; we all know it is quite the physical activity. If your body isn’t prepared you might hurt yourself doing the dance with no pants.
7. Pancreatic function
Increases way too much than it should. This is because cells not working do not use insulin. But the pancreas do not take no for an answer. They keep on pumping.
This can cause insulin tolerance.
8. Muscle degeneration
When muscles do not get enough work, lactic acid accumulation happens rapidly in the cells. This causes not only acute or chronic pain, but in the long run also causes degeneration of muscle cells which wither away thanks to inactivity.
9. Loose abs
Believe it or not but your abs hold your upper body up. Continued sitting at one place makes them soft and mushy.
This is what causes the swayback of the arch of the spine.