Why sitting is the new smoking

Why sitting is the new smoking

If we estimate the exact time we spend sitting, it comes to around to about 10-12 hours per day. This includes driving, sitting at your workplace, relaxing at home and other such activities. Thought to be as bad for your health as smoking, the number of hours you spend sitting directly affects your health{1}. So much so, that in her book Don’t Lose Out, Work Out, Rujuta Diwekar mentions that sitting predisposes you to a variety of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, high levels of cholesterol and an overall sluggish system.

Sit at your own risk!

Sitting for long hours can lead to certain disorders like chronic fatigue syndrome accompanied by anemia, insomnia, digestive problems, lethargy, etc. Apart from that, it may also give rise to inactivity stress syndrome –a condition where a person suffers from stress without doing any work. Also read how sitting can lead to excessive accumulation of fat around your hips.

At the work place, a sedentary lifestyle is accompanied with bad dietary habits like eating junk food, irregular eating habits or eating on the run and drinking unhealthy beverages like tea, coffee or soft drinks. This completely upsets your normal metabolic function which may lead to conditions like acidity, constipation, ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome.

Can lead to spinal problems

The way you sit or your posture can be one of the causes for spinal problems or common pains along the neck, shoulders and lower back. Bad posture or sitting the wrong way can lead to muscle strain and eventually severe back problems. Apart from that, you could also suffer from muscle and bone loss as well. This problem is no more unique to the elderly, experts have found that even in teenagers; continuous sitting can be a reason for muscle pain and bone loss. Read more about yoga asanas to strengthen your spine.

Another major ill effect of sitting is obesity. Sitting is known to lead to accumulation of belly fat, thereby increasing the amount of bad cholesterol in your body. This in turn leads to diabetes and heart problems.

Tips to keep the ill-effects of sitting at bay:

While watching TV, take a short walk during the commercial breaks. Alternatively you can choose to finish some work between your regular TV shows. While at work, take short walks either around your office or outside. This will not only help you relax and refresh your mind but will keep you fit as well.

Make your food habits healthier. Avoid eating junk food and try some healthy snack options instead.
Practice relaxing and stretching exercises like yoga, which can be done while sitting at home or even in the office. Read more about yoga poses you can practice at your workplace.

Source: The health site

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