What Happens to the Body After Sitting Down for Too Long?

  • Physical activity is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, approximately 31% of the global population fails to meet minimum physical activity requirements. Americans spend an average of 7.7 hours a day sitting, which can increase the risk of developing many health conditions, including back pain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer.1

Staying physically active and taking frequent breaks from sitting reduces these risks. This article covers the side effects of sitting down too long and offers tips for preventing the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle.

Woman working at home on couch
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How Many Hours of Sitting Is Unhealthy?

According to the Start Standing organization, sitting too long is considered just as harmful for the body as smoking.2 While there is not an exact amount of sitting to be considered unhealthy, the general consensus is that the more you sit, the worse it is for you. This is especially true if your sitting is uninterrupted, meaning you do not take any breaks.1


What Happens to the Body After Sitting Down for Too Long?

Sitting down for too long can have several negative side effects on your body. Without movement, your muscles become tight, your joints become stiff, and your metabolism and circulation slow down. These changes can result in a variety of different conditions that can continue to get worse the more you sit.

Weak Legs and Glutes

Increased sitting makes your leg muscles inactive. Over time, this causes muscles to become weak and fatigue quickly with physical activity. Increased inactivity with sitting too long also increases the risk of sarcopenia, or loss of muscle.3 Without proper strength in your legs and glutes, everyday activities like standing up from a chair, walking, and going up and down stairs can become difficult.4

Tight Hips and Back Pain…

Continue Reading: https://www.verywellhealth.com/sitting-down-8629219?hid=0ca66fe91ff78d6c7007974a6522806eea6acf6b&did=13321511-20240607&utm_source=verywellhealth&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=verywell-health-today_newsletter&utm_content=060724&lctg=0ca66fe91ff78d6c7007974



Article submitted by Pat France, MSRN Volunteer