What Are the Health Complications of Sitting for Long Periods?

What Are the Health Complications of Sitting for Long Periods?

Today’s society is all about sitting down at a computer and being sedentary to get work done. More than ever, people are sitting longer, working longer, and having a harder time exercising. People spend more time sitting or in a seated position, which does not bode well for their health over time.

Limited Calorie Burn

When seated for long periods of time, there is less opportunity to burn calories. Everyday non-exercise activities, including standing, walking, and other things don’t burn as much as full out exercising. Sedentary behavior involves little energy and burns little calories. People who work on farms will burn more than people who work in an office environment, for instance. This limited calorie burn can have an impact on health over time, including weight gain, heart disease, or other issues. 

Increase in Diseases

Being sedentary is not good for overall health, but it is also linked to chronic diseases and conditions. People who walk less or sit longer do not have good blood sugar numbers. They are more likely to experience type 2 diabetes. Researchers believe sedentary behavior may have a direct impact on insulin resistance. Exercise does not eliminate the risk entirely. Prolonged sitting is still strongly linked to lack of exercise.

Increased Body Fat

People who sit more often and exercise less (or burn fewer calories) are more likely to gain more weight over the course of their lives. One hour of exercise did not make up for the hours of inactivity when other hours were spent sitting. The fact of the matter is, people have to get up and get moving if they want to decrease body fat and feel healthier.

How to Get Moving

It is hard to get moving for many reasons in our culture. One of them is the types of jobs available offer more sitting than moving. The type of moving is not consistent with exercise, necessarily. But at least getting up and moving is better than sitting for long periods. A few things to help the cause: 

  • Get a standing desk
  • Use an exercise ball for a chair
  • Move every 45 minutes of sitting to stretch and get some fresh air
  • Work fewer hours 
  • Shift hours to not be all lumped together
  • Change jobs
  • Find more time to exercise and less time lying or sitting at home after work or on weekends

People with mental health issues may struggle to get up and move when they are not at work. They may do just enough to get by and function, then need to sit down and rest when they get home. The other issue is being sure to find ways of eating healthier and not consuming high sugar and fatty foods in recovery from addiction. These can lead to increased weight gain over time.

The Palmetto Center has space for you to come and heal from addiction. We specialize in treating executives with addiction and other professionals, but we serve all those who need help. If you are struggling, we will develop an individualized plan to help you detox and recover.  Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.