Many people spend large portions of their days sitting. When you add up the amount of time you spend sitting—at desks, on couches, and in cars—you’d probably be surprised to find it takes up the majority of your day. Sitting may not seem like an inherently dangerous activity, but spending too much time on your behind can start to take a significant toll on your health. To learn about some of the main reasons why sitting too much is bad for your health, continue reading.
Sitting can take a toll on your heart
Living a sedentary lifestyle has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease as well as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, all of which take a toll on one’s heart. The reason why sitting puts such a large strain on your heart is because the body produces up to 90 percent less lipoprotein lipase when in a sitting position. Lipoprotein lipase is responsible for breaking triglycerides (a type of fat found in your blood), so the decreased quantity causes your body to store more fat. The excess fat then puts a strain on your arteries and can harm your heart.
It can cause back and neck pain
Even if you invest in a high-quality ergonomic chair, sitting for extensive periods of time can still place excess stress on your back and neck. When you’re sitting, pressure is placed on the vertebrae in your lower spine. When you slouch or hunch over—as people commonly do after sitting for a long time—pressure is then added to the neck as well. After a while, such pressure can cause compression on your spinal disks, which may result in premature degeneration and chronic pain.
It can lead to muscle stiffness and degeneration
When you don’t frequently use your muscles, they can start to deteriorate. As such, sitting for long periods of time on a regular basis often cause your muscles to weaken from lack of use. Muscles may also start to feel stiff and uncomfortable after being locked in the same sitting position. When you develop weak and stiff muscles from maintaining a sedentary lifestyle for several years, you may have a harder time running, walking, or simply balancing, which can impede your quality of life and increase your risk of dangerous falls.
How to reduce the health risks of a sedentary life
Exercising can reduce your chances of developing any of these sitting-related health conditions, but it won’t completely offset the negative impact of sitting for long periods of time. To avoid harming your health, it’s important to stay active throughout your day. A great way to incorporate more movement into your life is to invest in a stand-up desk balance board. Ebb & Flo’s standing desk balance boards allow you to engage your body while staying productive throughout a long workday. To start living a healthier, more mobile life, shop our standing desk board today.