Risks Of Sitting For Long Hours

Hidden Health Risks Of Sitting For Long Hours And Solutions

Updated on July 5, 2024

Are you someone who spends extended hours at work, unaware of the concealed risks associated with prolonged sitting? In today’s digital age, many individuals find themselves seated for extended periods in their workplaces, yet remain unaware of the potential health hazards linked to extended sitting. Surprisingly, numerous people are unaware that long hours of sitting can lead to significant health issues, affecting various parts of our bodies, from our necks to our backs and down to our feet.

In this article, you will gain valuable insights from Dr. Hansaji Yogendra regarding the five health problems that may arise from prolonged sitting. Furthermore, you’ll discover practical steps to maintain good health, enhance productivity, and alleviate discomfort. Our objective is to prioritize good health, promote overall well-being, and contribute to a healthier world. Keep reading until the end, and be sure to watch the accompanying video for comprehensive information.

What are the hidden risks of sitting for long hours?

You use less energy when you sit than you use when you stand or move.

According to an article in Mayo Clinic by Edward R. Laskowski, M.D., research has linked sitting for long periods of time with several health concerns. They include obesity and a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and unhealthy cholesterol levels — that make up metabolic syndrome. Any extended sitting — such as at a desk, behind a wheel or in front of a screen — can be harmful.

Hidden Risks Of Sitting For Long Hours

Dr Hansaji Yogendra, The Yoga Institute says:

We humans are not physically designed to sit for long hours. A few centuries ago our ancestors had constant movements in their life. Unfortunately in this modern age people sit for long hours because of their jobs, travels, addiction to electronic devices or other reasons.

Modern researchers have brought into focus a sitting disease which is caused by excessive sitting. It’s a major health problem which leads to chronic diseases or even shortens your life. Today let us examine some of these health problems and their solutions.

Excessive sitting
Excessive sitting on a computer

Slow resting metabolic rate

A direct side effect of prolonged sitting is a slow resting metabolic rate. Sitting makes your resting metabolic rate or RMR slow down.

What Is RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate)?

RMR is the number of calories you burn as your body performs basic life-sustaining functions such as cell production, respiration, nutrient processing and so on. Your RMR makes up about 60 to 70 per cent calories you expect. A low RMR leads to lethargic digestion, weight gain, and obesity. In order to maintain a good resting metabolic rate, eat only as much as your body needs. Take a stroll after lunch or dinner and stay active if you are not required to sit and sleep.

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According to verywell fit Resting Metabolic Rate is the number of calories that your body burns while at rest.

Vascular problem

Sitting for a long time also causes the vascular problem. After a long period of sitting blood and fluid pull in a person’s lower legs and feet. They get tired swollen and painful. This can even lead to the development of blood clots, varicose veins, and deep vein thrombosis. This is when blood platforms in deep leg veins which is dangerous because it can travel to the lungs.

Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins. Any vein that is close to the skin’s surface (superficial) can become varicosed. Varicose veins most commonly affect the veins in the legs. That’s because standing and walking increase the pressure in the veins of the lower body.

In such cases, it is better to move or walk around every 30 minutes which will pump the blood out of your calf muscles. One may also wear elastic compression stockings like the ones worn by police or nurses. They stretch from foot to knee and provide good relief.

Heart disease and diabetes

Heart disease and diabetes can be caused by sitting for a prolonged time. Lack of physical activity is a contributing factor to many diseases such as cardiovascular diseases. In addition to decreasing blood flow to the leg, sitting impacts sugar regulation and blood pressure by changing the normal function of blood vessels and so it causes diabetes or heart problems.

5 Expert Tips To Control Diabetes With Proper Sleep

To combat these lifestyle problems it is best to increase the amount of time you are active. A little short walk every hour is helpful. Prolonged sitting can also cause lower back pain and spine issues.

Hidden Risks Of Sitting For Long Hours - Stress on spine
Stress on the spine

Significant stress on the spine

Sitting for long, especially with a poor posture put significant stress on the spine as well as other joints such as the shoulders and hips. It also leads to increased stress on the lower back and reduces spinal flexibility. The disc between the lumbar vertebrae starts to bulge and may cause a slipped disc. If you have to sit for a long period at work, consider using a sit-to-stand desk to decrease your sitting back. If a standing desk is not available you can move your computer to a higher level. Place a rolled-up towel between your back and the chair to improve alignment. Get up every 30 minutes or so to move and stretch.

Significant stress on the spine
Significant stress on the spine

The solution to sitting related health problems

Now let us see how to include more movements in your day. Get at least about 20 minutes of exercise every day. The act of moving in itself is enough to counteract the effect of sitting. One of the best yoga poses for those who have to sit for a long period is a variation of the cat and cow poses.

Cat-Cow-Pose Asana

Come on all four and lift one leg straight out. The leg should be behind you and the opposite arm in front of you. This is an excellent pose for hip strengthening.

Structure your day in such a way that moderate physical exercises could be included whenever possible. For health disorders related, movement is actually like medicine so take care.

Do you know what are the benefits of walking every day?

Hidden Risks Of Sitting For Long Hours – Dr Hansaji Yogendra

Hope you liked the expert advice from Dr Hansaji Yogendra, The Yoga Institute.

Risks Of Sitting For Long Hours

Health risks of sitting long hours
Health risks of sitting long hours


I hope you’ve gained an understanding of the concealed hazards associated with extended periods of sitting without adequate body movement. As discussed earlier, it’s evident that reducing sitting time in favor of increased physical activity contributes to improved health.

Considering that many individuals today spend extensive hours sitting at work, followed by prolonged periods of sitting during leisure activities such as watching television and using smartphones for social media, it’s no surprise that physical inactivity has become a significant factor in various health problems.

It’s advisable to initiate a shift towards standing or walking whenever feasible, rather than remaining seated when the opportunity arises. Additionally, integrating minor physical tasks into your daily routine, like tending to a home garden or washing your vehicles, not only encourages body movement but also enhances your mental well-being.

By taking these steps, you can actively promote better health and cultivate a more fulfilling and balanced life.

Read 7 Common Body Signs Of Nutrient Deficiency And Solutions

Do you have any health risks from sitting for long hours at work?

What do you do for enough body movement for better health?

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