Many Americans spend the bulk of their day sitting, especially if you have a desk job where you are 8 hours on your chair each day.
Our body is designed for movement. Our ancestors didn’t sit all day, they used to be in constant moving, they used to walk, run, climb, hunt, dance around the fire, swim, fight etc. People are meant to move and all these movements are what human body actually is designed for.
Beside that our body is designed for regular movement, many Americans spend most of their day sitting. Average US adult spends around 10 hours total time each day sitting. While a certain period of sitting during the day is normal and natural, long periods of sitting are no good at all and on long term may have serious impact on people’s health.
What Happens To Your Body When You Sit For Too Long?
The gluteal muscles have impact to hip movement, pelvis rotation and pelvic stability and excessive sitting leaves our glutes inactive including our hips and legs, so what is bad for your butt affect the rest of our body too. Also, an inactive gluteus tightens hip flexors, especially when people sit with poor posture, and that may curve the spine leading to bad body posture and back pain.
When our glutes and hips are inactive and aren’t working properly, impact force is increased to knees and ankles. This excessive sitting, we talk for years of sitting where lots of sitting is involved on daily basis, like some serious office job and that kind of lifestyle, may even change the shape of your booty, potentially less muscle tone, less perk and even sagginess. Although is not the sole cause, even cellulite can form because of loss of collagen due to lack of blood flow at skin level.
Excessive sitting on long term may have even worse health effects:
- Heart: Blood flows slower and muscles burn less fat, bringing higher chances for fatty acids to clog your heart.
- Pancreas: Produce increased amounts of insulin which may lead to diabetes.
- Cancer: Excess insulin production encourages cell growth and thus risk of colon and breast cancer is increased. Also, weight gain is linked with excessive sitting and that is associated alterations in hormones, metabolic and leptin dysfunction and inflammation and all of them promote cancer.
- Digestion: Excessive sitting lead to possibility for your abdominal contents to compress which will slow down digestion.
- Posture Problems
- Muscle Degeneration
- Leg Disorders: Varicose Veins and Weak Bones
Regular workouts can counteract all that time we spend sitting. 30 to 60 minutes are enough. (Pilates is excellent to strengthen your core and improve posture.) During work time, try to stand as much as possible, use every free time available to strech good and to walk across the hall, use stairs instead of the elevator and try to walk as much as possible during a day (before and after work).