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Sitingitis: Why we should sit less...

… It raises your risk for blood clots, depression, and possibly cancer, according to scientists.

Sittingitis! It may sound like a strange sickness you'd bring back from an exotic holiday, but it's actually a modern homegrown condition brought on by minimal activity other than moving from your desk to your car to your couch for the evening.

According to one study, the startling amount of time most of us spend sitting down—up to 15 hours per day if we work in an office—can cause issues on the inside and the outside. You're probably aware of the aches and pains that result from slouching over a computer, but spending too much time seated in a chair or slouched on a sofa has also been connected to a number of serious illnesses, such as blood clots, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, heart disease, and cancer. Even your brain is not safe: According to a study released in April 2018 by UCLA researchers, being sedentary is linked to weakening of the brain's regions responsible for memory formation. As a result, your memory may suffer.

Although being overweight can increase the risk of many of the same diseases connected to excessive sitting, the problem with sitting goes beyond concerns about obesity. Yes, spending so much time sitting down does make it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight, but even if you're in shape, leading a sedentary lifestyle can be detrimental to your health. Because "inactivity influences how we burn fat, metabolise sugar, and how our bodies react to insulin.

Because getting up and moving around is essential for regulating proteins, genes, and other systems that lower our vulnerability to disease, it is likely that sitting as much as many of us do raises our risk for 35 serious conditions.

These are some consequences of "sittingitis":

Depression and anxiety - Four hours of sitting can compress a crucial disc in your lower back, causing back and neck pain. Additionally, poor posture can cause herniated discs and other disc-related issues in your neck.

Back and neck pain - Just four hours of sitting can compress a key disc in your lower back! Poor posture can also lead to disc problems in your neck, such as a herniated disc.

Cancer - Even after accounting for activity, the risk of colon and endometrial cancer increases, probably as a result of inflammation, weight gain, and other changes.

Obesity, diabetes, and heart trouble - Sitting reduces your ability to burn calories and may also make insulin less effective at transferring glucose from the blood into cells.

Weak bones - Weight-bearing exercise, such as standing and walking, challenges your skeleton in a healthy way. However, when you sit too much, the body replaces less of what it loses, which causes weak bones and an increased risk of osteoporosis, particularly as you age.

Blood clots - Your risk is increased by sedentary lifestyle-related slow blood flow in the legs, which may also be accompanied by lower levels of clot-preventing proteins.

Can getting more exercise help?

Although chairs are scarcely a recent invention, humans only sat for about five hours per day 200 years ago. The rest of their waking hours were spent doing physical labour, such as washing clothing by hand, kneading bread, moving around the house, working in the garden, etc. If your great-great-great-great-great-grandma didn't need a gym membership, it may have been because she worked out quietly from sunrise to sunset or because the classes didn't exist at the time. Today, we may only move for 60 minutes a day, not counting the eight hours of sleep at night. Consider this before quitting your work or replacing your washing machine with a washboard and scrub brush.

Making an effort to move more doesn't have to be all or nothing. You don't have to worry about doing your body any harm while enjoying the luxuries of modern living. The key is to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting and the number of minutes you sit for in a row.

Monitor your sitting time:

Manage your sitting time with a specific approach, such as transferring to a standing desk or going to the water cooler more frequently, to reduce your sedentary behaviour. This method is more beneficial than focusing on adding additional exercise to your day.

Make an effort to substitute activity breaks for at least two hours of sitting time. Even if these brief breaks don't seem like much, they build up. In actuality, two hours divided by the 16 hours that you are awake equals about eight minutes each hour, which you can accomplish in bursts. Additionally, you might discover that there are occasions when you can completely avoid sitting. What if you prepared dinner while standing or declined a train/bus/tube seat?

Making a few other changes to your environment will also be beneficial. Make sure your knees are slightly bent and lower than your hips while driving by adjusting the seat height. A pillow or lumbar support can assist in preventing slouching and maintaining a slightly arched back. These minor adjustments to your posture, together with finding ways to incorporate more non-exercise movement, can have a significant positive impact on your health. We should give that a standing ovation.

To find out how the EK Health Kiosk can help to monitor long term conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, angina, asthma, and COPD, why not give us a call on 01223 812737 or email for a free brochure.

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