Sitting For Too Long Can Be Dangerous



It was September 24, 2007, on a Monday evening, Cathleen Renner, 47, sat down in her home office to tackle a project. Renner has been working for AT&T for 25 years. She spent hours at the computer that night, making a plan for a possible employee strike. When her son got up at 7am, she was at her desk. Renner took her son to the bus a little later, and as she walked out the door, she clutched her leg and let out a cry of pain. Still, she returned to work. At 11:34am, she called an ambulance. Renner was dead by the time she reached the hospital. In a workers’ compensation claim filed after her death, her husband argued that her sitting was what killed her. Renner died of a pulmonary embolism after a blood clot formed in her leg. 
Source: macleans.ca

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


In today's world where everyone goes for an office job because of the high pay, employers are often glue to their seats for longer  hours. Many also live a sedentary lifestyle where they are seated for longer period watching the television and making use of the computer. Not left out also, are the transport/courier workers who are always behind wheels for much duration. Various health risks are involved whether or not you exercise the rest of the time. Researchers have linked sitting for too long to a number of health problems. Some of which are heart disease, obesity, stroke, diabetes, excess body fat around the waist, increased cholesterol around the abdomen and blood clot which could also lead to an early death. Many of us don't really know the damage we are doing to ourselves when we are in the habit of sitting for too long.

These following things happen when we sit;
  •  The electrical activity in the legs and gluteal muscles (buttocks) slows way down.
  •  Calorie burning slows to 1 calorie per minute.
  •  Enzymes in the blood that burn fat drop precipitously.
  •  After two hours, good cholesterol levels can drop 20%. 
Source: mylifestages.org

So now you could imagine what will happen if we decide to remain on seat for too long. Moving your body really matters, both to your heart, brain and metabolic processes. It is important to recognize that being static can be detrimental to your health. So how can one avoid or reduce the consequences of sitting for too long? Here are some few tips to help.

  • If you are sitting for too long it is really important you take regular breaks by getting up on your feet. Taking breaks, even if they are as short as a minute can be beneficial. You will prolong your life and also remain substantially healthy. Most times I get up from my seat and take a little walk before returning back to my seat because I realize when a person sits for long period of time, the muscles burn less fat and the blood tends to flow slowly abnormal.

  • During vacations, some people sit at home all through watching episodes of different movies. And sometimes they eat along while watching those programmes. You need to get up and move your body. This lifestyle can make you gain abnormal weight and increase your risk of diabetes. Engage yourself with exercise no matter the weather.

  •  If you always drive to work, do park your vehicle some few meters from your workplace to enable you make a brisk work to your office building. During lunch breaks at work, do not always order for food rather walk to where ever you can get food to eat. Rather than always using the phone to communicate, walk around to deliver messages to fellow colleagues.

  • If you are a driver who is bound to cover long distances, it advisable to take breaks at regular interval to help stretch the legs and the rest of your body. Oh! Pilots can't do this. They can't stop the aircraft in the air. That is why there is always two of them.

Renner died of a pulmonary embolism after a blood clot formed in her leg. This can happen to anyone who is always sitting. You can prevent it! Spread the word to friends and family by sharing this article.

15 comments:

  1. Hi Mazino. Thanks for an informative look at the dangers of sitting for too long. Intuitively we know it is bad for us but you have clearly summarized the precise reasons for this. I make a habit of interrupting any long periods of sitting by taking a walk and stretching, whether working, driving or even on long flights. Now I know exactly why !

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  2. This is very good advice. I used an article with similar tips in one of my classes and made my students stand for the entirety of the hour. They weren't too happy but they got the point of what I was trying to get across. Staying active is crucial.

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  3. Such an informative Post. You are so right. I was so much healthier when I lived in Kenya where the public transport wasn't great and we didn't have a car . We walked miles and could eat anything as we were so active. Now in the UK, we tend to be indoors a lot more, watch TV a lot or use the PC a lot...all sitting down and drive every where ... Not healthy lifestyle at all. I am going to take your advice and go for a long drive.

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  4. Very good post... Sitting for long is extremely injurious to health and especially for people above the age of 50. The tips you gave here will surely help a number of people out there.

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  5. Hi Mazino - this is an important, informative post and I hope many people read it. I actually hope some doctors high up in the Medical Associations read this. A lot of problems could be prevented just by this common-sense approach. Thanks for sharing.
    Lenie

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  6. I knew sitting down was bad for my health, but I had no idea of this possibility. Thank you for sharing.

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  7. Good advice to take regular breaks from sitting. I think I'll leave my desk now and go for a walk.

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  8. Thank you for the reminder. I sit way too much. I'm standing now as I write this.

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  9. thanks; I consider myself farely healthy, but I know i could and should be more physically active. this is a good post especially for us bloggers many of whom spend hours at keyboards stressing over page rank subscriber numbers, social media reach, etc. and many compound this with less than healthy diets. so good job, max

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  10. This is a great post. I have been guilty of sitting for too long a time but now make it a point to stand up, stretch, and walk a bit, every 20 minutes or so. Sometimes I break up my sitting by doing chores in between my work since I work from home. Taking a break this way also gives my eyes a rest from the computer screen and takes the stiffness out of my arms and neck.

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  11. Wow, your post really spells out the negative effects of sitting down for too long. As a market researcher, most of my day is spent on the phone, so naturally my desk is my second home. I try to get up and move around the office about every half hour or so to keep the body alert. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. All comments are highly appreciated.

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  13. Great post. Thanks for sharing. I need to change

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  14. Nice article. I always try to do a little exercise like stretching at any free time.

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