To start with, the chances are high that you are having a seat right now reading this article. But, what are the repercussions of sitting for too long? Can this have a serious impact on my body? Can it affect my health? The answer to this is yes. If you sit for too long, you may experience some health issues.
Have you ever wondered why you get tired of sitting at a certain position and switch to another? Even now, I’m sure that you are about to switch your sitting position. Yes, this comes when you are tired of sitting for too long or you are sitting in a position that your body is not comfortable.
You might feel that you are safe just because maybe you take a 5 mile run after sitting all day long. You are very wrong! “Sitting all day will make the front of your body tighten up – especially your hip flexors, rectors femoris, pectoralis, upper traps and anterior scalenes. When the muscles tighten up, it creates musculoskeletal imbalances. So if you run after prolonged sitting, then those big stabilizing muscles simply won’t work.” A Chicago-based performance therapist and the founder of React Physical Therapy, David Reavy explains.
Let’s see what effect does sitting for too long has on your backbone?
Prolonged sitting will most likely leave you with a sore spine, stiff spine, and pain in your back. Most likely, if you sit for long, you will probably slide down making your sitting posture poor. This slouching will force the spinal ligaments to stretch beyond their recommended limit and this will probably damage your spinal disc. Once the outer annulus of the disc starts to strain, there will be an increase in disc pressure and disc bulging. This can be highly experienced mostly if you are an all-day computer person. If you are one, it is important to check all you need to know about computer ergonomics.
Can prolonged sitting cause limb numbness and swelling?
Have you ever sat for too long and actually realize that you can’t feel or sense some of your body parts like before? Well, that’s numbness. What causes it? Can prolong sitting cause it? Of course, limb numbness can be caused by prolonged sitting. This may be as a result of too much pressure on the nerves or reduced blood flow to the areas that are numb. This may mostly happen to your legs, feet, and arms. Also, this can be caused by your lower back issues where there is a breakdown of spinal discs which can cause compression of nerves going to the legs.
Does all this affect your brain functioning?
Most probably, your brain is at work when you are having a prolonged sitting. But, does prolonged sitting affect brain functioning? Yes, it does. First and foremost, prolonged sitting is associated with metabolic, cardiovascular, and even mental health. If you sit for too long, your brain may be getting insufficient blood supply which is very important in brain functioning.
The University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) researchers discovered that 35 adults of the age between 45 and 75 who sit for long have greater thinning of the medial temporal lobe. Surprisingly, prolonged sitting not only affects the brain functioning but also risks chances of having other health issues like diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
What can you do to avoid all these?
To avoid prolonged sitting there are tools that you can use to avoid the above-mentioned health issues.
To start with, you can consider using a high adjustable desk that you can use while still standing.
Secondly, you will need to do more exercises rather than just having a morning run. You will need to practice other activities like yoga, stretching, long walks among others. If your schedule is too tight to perform the above activities, you can opt to use a fitness treadmill
Last but not least, I’d encourage you to take breaks during your long sitting sessions. This will make your body relax the affected muscles when you’re seated. You can come up with a schedule of when and after how long you should take these breaks. You can use the Pomodoro technique to remind you when you should take these breaks. Also, you can learn more by knowing what is meant by the Pomodoro technique and how you should use it.