Right now, you are probably watching this news article and of course sitting a little will be fine. However, the longer you sit, the more impact your body has to deal with and what your body expects to do now is get up and walk. This may sound weird because you feel sitting will be more comfortable, but does the body think so?
Certainly sitting for a short time helps us to get tired and regain strength while tired. But today, lifestyles make us sit more than move but our bodies are not created for such passive life.
In fact, the human body is born for movement, as evidenced by the structure of the body with more than 360 joints and about 700 skeletal muscles that allow for flexible movements. The body's unique physical structure allows us to stand upright against gravity.
Blood depends on the motor process for normal circulation. Nerves control coordination of components in a smooth manner and elastic skin helps support movement. So if every part of your body is ready and waiting for you to move, what happens when you don't?
Let's start from the spine. The spine is a long structure made up of bone and cartilage plates alternating. The joints, muscle bundles and ligaments attached to the bone hold everything together. A normal way of sitting is to bend your back and lower your shoulders, this position creates uneven pressure on your spine.
Over time, the cartilage discs gradually wear out, thereby overloading the ligaments and joints, putting pressure on the muscles because they have to stretch to match the position of your back. The back arch also narrows the chest cavity when you sit, meaning that your lungs have less space to expand when you breathe. It is a problem because it temporarily limits the amount of oxygen entering your lungs and blood.
Around the skeleton are muscles, nerves, arteries and veins that make up the soft tissues of the body. Sitting will put pressure and pressure on these soft tissues to bear the burden. Have you ever experienced numbness and swelling in your limbs while sitting? In the most compressed areas, nerves, arteries and veins can be blocked, which restricts nerve signals, causes numb symptoms and reduces blood flow to the limbs causing swelling.
Sitting for a long time also makes Lipoprotein Lipase – a special enzyme that breaks down fat in the blood – temporarily stops working, so when you sit, you don't burn fat as well as when you exercise.
How does all this stagnation affect the brain? Perhaps the purpose of sitting for a long time is to use the brain effectively on the job, but ironically, sitting for a long time goes against this goal. Less activity slows down the flow of blood and sits a lot, which reduces the amount of oxygen from the lungs. The brain needs blood and oxygen to maintain its calmness, so sitting for a long time weakens the concentration.
Unfortunately, the bad impact of sitting is not only in the short term. Recent studies show that prolonged sitting is related to several types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, increased risk of diabetes and liver and kidney problems. In fact, the researchers found that inactivity causes about 9% of premature deaths every year in the world, equivalent to more than 5 million people. So it seems like a harmless habit actually has a huge impact on our health.
Fortunately, the solution to this threat is simple and intuitive. When you're forced to sit due to work situations, try changing your sitting posture and sometimes get up and go back and forth to stretch your muscles, possibly by placing a standing reminder every hour. The lesson is almost finished, what are you waiting for without getting up and stretching your body, your body will thank you very much!