Why sitting all day is unhealthy, according to physicians

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Numerous Americans who commute to work, sit at their workstations once they get there, and then unwind at home by binge-watching their favorite television series may not be aware of the negative effects all of that sitting may be having on their health.

Dr. Deepak L. Bhatt, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, told Fox News Digital that “some experts have labeled sitting the new smoking.”

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Bhatt, who is also the executive director of interventional cardiovascular programs at Brigham and Womens Hospital Heart and Vascular Center in Boston, continued, “And while that is a bit of an exaggeration smoking is very bad for cardiovascular and overall health it is true that prolonged periods of sitting worsen health.”

“Long durations of sitting are bad for your health.”

According to an article published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, adults spend an average of nine hours sitting while awake, and 4.5% of them reported a handicap in ADLs.

Summer Sides, an exercise scientist with Orangetheory Fitness, stated that the likelihood of having an ADL handicap was 46% higher for every hour per day spent in sedentary activity.

A woman sits outside with her laptop on the summer beach at sunset.

According to a 2015 paper published in Annals of Internal Medicine, sedentary activities make up about 50% of the average person’s life.

To investigate the relationship between inactive time and adult health outcomes that was unrelated to physical exercise, the study’s participants conducted a review and meta-analysis of published research.

Regardless of whether a person exercises frequently or not, the report revealed that prolonged sitting increases the risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and death.

One doctor told Fox News Digital that the "most important strategy" in getting people to move around more is "to focus on top-of-mind awareness."

“From my experience, the most important strategy in getting patients to move whether it be to avoid sitting, to improve exercise, or both, is to focus on building top of mind awareness,” Dr. David A. Alter told Fox News Digital.

He was the lead author on the study.

An extended period of sitting is linked to an increased chance of dying young, according to a 2017 study that was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Alter, a senior scientist at University Health Network and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Toronto in Canada, said, “So, the best recommendation to avoid sedentary behavior and/or to promote exercise activity is the same: Namely, to educate the mind to plan.

The risk of death rises when one is seated. Sides told Fox News Digital that numerous studies have shown that persons who sit for an extended period of time are more likely to pass away from any reason prematurely.

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According to Sides, a 2017 study that examined almost 8,000 adults and was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine indicated a link between extended sitting and the probability of an early death regardless of the cause.

Sides noted that participants who sat for more than 13 hours a day had a 200% higher risk of passing away than those who sat for less than 11 hours.

Two friends sit down while talking in the park.

He said that participants who frequently sat for longer than 90 minutes at a time had a mortality risk that was roughly twice that of individuals who consistently kept their sitting duration to under 90 minutes.

However, the study discovered that those who sat for under 30 minutes at a time had the lowest probability of passing away.

“It’s definitely a good idea to get up around every 30 minutes or so and at the very least take a short stroll, or maybe even get in a quick bout of exercise, like walking up the stairs,” Bhatt told Fox Digital News.

Every 30 minutes or so, it’s probably a good idea to get up and at the very least take a short stroll.
Additionally, you are compelled to quit looking at the computer, which can cause dry eyes and eye strain.

But it’s vital to consider all of the daily activities we engage in—not just those at work—that force us to spend too much time sitting down. Scott Brown, vice president of fitness at Orangetheory Fitness, agreed.

He told Fox News Digital, “This includes sitting on the couch, driving, and eating.
THE RISK OF OTHER MEDICAL PROBLEMS GOES UP WHEN YOU SIT Long periods of sitting can also result in undesirable medical issues.

According to several observational studies, prolonged sitting promotes a reduction in energy expenditure, metabolic activity, and muscular activity. Sitting is the most prevalent long duration uninterrupted inactive time activity, Brown told Fox News Digital.

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According to him, this is thus “related with poor health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular events, type 2 diabetes, anxiety, depression, and Alzheimer’s.”

A businessman is shown sitting at his desk with his laptop.

According to Yale Medicine, it may also raise the chance of deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot in the leg.

Unilateral swelling in the lower extremities, or swelling in one leg only, without swelling in the other, may be one of the symptoms. This is frequently accompanied by calf pain.

The medical publication noted that if the clot is not treated, it may eventually spread to the lung and cause a pulmonary embolism, a situation in which there is not enough oxygen in the lungs for a person to breathe.

BE SURE TO SIT IN THE RIGHT POSITION. According to numerous reports, prolonged sitting can also result in poor posture, which can cause low back and hip pain as well as raise the risk of osteoporosis.

Long periods of sitting tend to weaken muscles and encourage back pain, which makes it harder to exercise, Bhatt emphasized.

Total sedentary time can become a problem for people, say doctors.

“Not just for metabolic and mental health, but this also may wreak havoc on your orthopedic health and posture,” Brown continued, “the entire amount of inactive time can become a concern.”

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