If you work in an office or from home, you probably know all too well what it feels like to sit for hours on end with no time to take breaks in between. If this is your daily experience, you probably experience pain and stiffness throughout the day. Additionally, research suggests that too much sedentary time could also contribute to additional health complications.
A report published by JAMA Cardiology in June 2022 revealed how sitting too long is impacting people in 21 different countries. Although this study is one of the most important to be published on this subject, it is not the first to reveal the hard truth about what a sedentary lifestyle can do for your health. This study and others on this topic published over the past decade have found that sitting for long periods each day without a break can rapidly age your body in several ways.
Read on to learn more about how this daily habit is making you age fast, and for more tips on healthy aging, check out 8 Eating Habits to Slow Brain Aging.
How long-term sitting can accelerate aging and could have fatal consequences
Desk jobs have always posed a threat to finding movement throughout your day. But with work-from-home life becoming much more common in recent years with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, even more people find themselves sitting at their desks or on their sofas for hours on end. This, unfortunately, can wreak havoc on the health of many populations.
The JAMA Cardiology The study found that all populations studied had results proving that spending more time sitting led to an increased risk of health complications. By an article in ScienceAlert exposing on the JAMA Cardiology study, sitting for six to eight hours a day “increases the relative risk of heart disease and premature death by about [12–13%], compared to people sitting less than four hours a day. Increase that time to eight hours or more, and the relative risk jumps to an astonishing 20[%].”
Many other studies have come to similar conclusions regarding the adverse effects of sitting for long periods throughout the day. A report published in 2019 in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that longer periods of daily sitting were associated with an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, another 2017 study by The Journal of Lifestyle Medicine the evaluation of the habits of office workers concluded that long periods of daily sitting – also between six and eight hours – were associated with symptoms of hypertension and musculoskeletal disorders in the body.
The Mayo Clinic also warns people of the dangers of sitting for hours on end without taking a break, saying making it a routine habit may be linked to health complications like high blood pressure, obesity, hyperglycemia and also excess visceral fat. the type of fat that lives around your organs near your abdomen. In fact, after reviewing 13 studies that looked at time spent sitting versus amount of daily activity, Mayo Clinic researchers concluded that “those who sat for more than eight hours a day without physical activity were at risk to die similar to that posed by obesity and smoking.”
Although this is an alarming statistic, fortunately changing the usual sedentary lifestyle can be easier than you think.
Incorporate more daily movement into your lifestyle
These results may seem grim, but there is hope in tackling the long-term effects of sitting. Although many of us need to sit for several hours a day to do our job, research shows that even adding an hour of movement a day can have hugely positive effects. For example, a 2016 study by the University of Cambridge found that 60 to 75 minutes of moderate exercise daily, including a brisk walk or bike ride, can potentially eliminate the adverse effects of aging as well as the increased risk of premature death from sitting too long.
Although this may not be possible every day due to busy schedules or other common factors, it is promising to know that something as simple and low impact as a walk can potentially make a difference in life. improving your health, in addition to engaging in other forms of exercise. So if you work in an office or work from home, try a morning walk or a night walk after dinner. Also, when given the choice between taking the stairs or taking the elevator, opt for more steps to counter the effects of unavoidable and prolonged periods in your seat. Your body will thank you!
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Learn more about Samantha
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