While the dangers of habits such as smoking and alcoholism are well documented, not many of us are aware of the grave dangers of sitting for extended periods of time.

Yes, the simple act of sitting at your desk while working or on the sofa while binge watching your favourite TV series or while traveling long distances can cause severe harm to your health. Just like smoking slowly harms your body in different ways, so does a sedentary lifestyle. Prolonged sitting can eventually lead to types of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Following are some harmful effects of sitting for long stretches of time:

– Organ damage

When you sit for very long, vital organs such as your heart and pancreas get affected. While sitting, your blood flow and muscle burning rate decrease, leading to fatty substances to build up in your heart. This could result in heart attacks and other cardiac diseases.

Prolonged sitting even for just one day alters your body’s ability to process insulin, forcing your pancreas to produce more insulin. This can cause diabetes and other health problems.

– Slower brain function

When you’re in sedentary mode for a long time, the blood circulation in your body slows down, resulting in your brain getting lesser fresh blood and oxygen. This decreases your brain function and you may experience confusion, drowsiness and mood swings.

– Bone and Joint Problems

The human body wasn’t designed to sit for long stretches of time. Our modern sedentary lifestyles have led to a rapid increase in posture and gait problems, and a variety of bone-related issues, and aches and pains. Your back, neck and shoulders are usually the areas that are most affected. Spinal injuries are on the rise as the discs in your back get compressed and lose their flexibility when your routine involves sitting for most of the day. Over time, sitting can also cause osteoporosis.

Apart from these health issues, sitting for long periods of time can result in poor circulation, water retention, blood clots, weakening of muscles, especially those in your abdominal region, etc. As per Dr. Megma Bangera , Physiotherapist, Apollo Clinic, Sarjapur Road, “The World Health Organization suggests that an adult should do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week i.e. 30 minutes across five days.”

If your lifestyle requires you sit for excessively long regularly, it is best to seek medical help in order to understand how to prevent and manage the above symptoms. A multi-specialty clinic such as Apollo Clinic has the advantage of having experts from various medical branches and functions under one roof, ensuring that you get the best care. Backed by Apollo’s legacy of excellence, the doctors and other medical professionals at Apollo Clinic will help you manage your lifestyle better, treating the damage done and preventing further complications.

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