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7 reasons why you should avoid spending all day sitting

7 reasons why you should avoid spending all day sitting

May 19, 2024

Do you endless moments when you have to stand for a long time? When this happens, the body has mechanisms to warn us that certain muscles are overloaded and we should change position. This does not usually happen to major precisely because these cases tend to be punctual, but things get complicated when the muscles are harmed by constant habits during our day to day.

The time we spend sitting, for example, is usually much more than the time we spend immobile in an upright position, and that is bad news for our health.

To spend many hours sitting: a long-lasting poison

We spend a lot of our working hours sitting, but in our free time or even during our domestic life this custom does not change. When eating, having dinner, watching television ... the same position for different activities , the same weight being distributed by the same surface of our body and the same muscle groups maintaining the tension in the same way.

Although it is not a harmful position if it is not maintained for prolonged periods, we abuse it a lot and that has negative consequences for our body . Here are some samples of it.

1. The lower edge of the seat produces varicose veins

This part of the structure that holds you press the back of your thighs and cuts blood circulation to a good part of your legs, especially in concave surface chairs where the bottom edge points up. Although you do not notice it, over the years this may favor the appearance of those marked veins.

2. It is bad for the circulatory system

When we spend a lot of time sitting we favor the appearance of high concentrations of fats in blood, since this is not burned by the muscles. Blockage of blood vessels becomes a little more likely, and can increase blood pressure , something that is harmful to the whole body but particularly to the brain, a very demanding organ energetically.

3. The body loses its elasticity

This is one of the easiest effects to directly check. People with sedentary habits who spend many hours sitting t They have a less flexible and more punished spine , and the same happens with the tendons and ligaments, especially the legs, which are collected in front of the seat. The range of motion becomes much smaller, and this lack of flexibility can lead to other problems, such as the risk of high injury in large muscle groups and the propensity to suffer from herniated discs.

Although there are ways to counteract this negative effect, such as yoga, the ideal is to prevent rather than cure.

4. Loss of bone density in the legs

The bones are more or less strong, in part, due to the effort required of them. Some wrestlers spend a few minutes a week kicking a hard surface to strengthen the tibiae, and the same logic could act the other way around when sitting on a seat: what is not used, is lost . Therefore, the risk of suffering from osteoporosis would also increase.

5. Encourages emergence of a stooped position

When sitting in front of a computer, the head tends to go forward to see the screen and keyboard. This produces a decompensation in the distribution of the weight by our body in which the muscles of the shoulders do not leave very well unemployed, since they shorten and they are displaced forward . Only this fact is necessary to alter the center of gravity of our body and produce a series of decompensations in the posture.

6. The muscles weaken (especially the gluteals)

The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle of all those that populate the human body, and He is also the most punished during the long periods spent in a sitting position . That causes the concentration of muscle fibers in these areas to be reduced, as they remain "asleep" due to inactivity, and as a consequence they lose their shape and part of their strength (which is serious considering the role of the glutes in the preservation of a proper posture while standing).

Something similar happens with other smaller muscles: it may be that sitting down does not expect too much force from them, but that does not mean that we do not need it in many other contexts. After having spent many hours daily on a chair during the last months, these muscles n or magically recover their potential by peeling off the seat . They are still, so to speak, off guard, and therefore they need to work at the same time to perform movements that should be done only by some of them.

7. The brain undergoes structural changes

One study found that sedentary rats suffered many more vascular disorders than rats in the control group. We explain it in detail in a previous article: "Sedentary causes changes in the brain."

What to do to avoid all this?

The most obvious answer is that we must Avoid spending so much time on a chair or sofa. However, assuming that the habit of remaining seated depends in part on our obligations and our work, certain recommendations can be followed to mitigate the damaging effects we have seen:

1. Sit with the vertical trunk , as far as possible, and get up to walk a few minutes every half hour.

2. Practice varied stretches every day , especially those that concern the hip flexors.

3. Use a seat without a backrest or a fitball of the right size to sit. This will partly prevent the weight from being distributed badly for a long time. The thighs should remain parallel to the floor and the knee should be bent at a 90 degree angle.

4. Remember to keep your head facing forward , without being very displaced forward. The ears should be in the line of the shoulders, and these back. If you have trouble seeing what is on the screen, enlarge the size of what appears on it or increase the luminosity somewhat (without burning your eyes!).

5. Finally, do exercises to strengthen the buttocks , Like the squats (with or without weight) or the frog jumps. Here is a video that can be of help:

I Quit Social Media For 1 Month — And It Was The Best Choice I Ever Made (May 2024).

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