While sitting too much may appear harmless and relaxing, researches indicate that it actually greatly raises your chance of developing serious health problems. 

It makes you fat. 

Sitting too much can contribute to weight gain because it reduces non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), which aids in calorie burning. NEAT includes standing up or fidgeting which can both contribute to good weight maintenance. According to Tel Aviv University studies, a lack of NEAT raises the risk of weight gain and up to 50% greater fat accumulation, particularly in areas like the hips and thighs.

It’s important to remember that a person’s life expectancy can be dramatically decreased by being overweight or obese due to the increased risk of different health issues. A Boston University study found that people who are classified as “obese” and have a BMI between 30 and 34 have a 27% higher risk of passing away. 

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Photo by: Harvard Health

It makes you prone to heart disease. 

The risk of heart disease can rise when people are sitting too much. A study found that men who watch more than 23 hours of TV each week have a 64% higher risk of passing away from cardiovascular disease than men who watch only 11 hours. According to experts, individuals who are sitting too much and are inactive have a 147% increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Heart attacks alone cause people to lose an average of over 16 years of life, and persons with heart failure typically live less than 10 years less than those who do not. In order to lower the risk of heart disease and related illnesses, it is essential to break up extended periods of sitting with physical exercise.

It may cause or worsen diabetes. 

Long durations of sitting can cause insulin resistance and metabolic abnormalities, which raise the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Sitting too much for those with the condition can also impact blood sugar levels, which can result in major health problems like kidney and heart damage. Physical activity is important for controlling blood sugar levels. Blood sugar regulation on the other hand is essential for preventing significant health issues.

Those with Type 2 diabetes may find that increasing their walking frequency is a simple approach to controlling their blood sugar, particularly during the high levels before and after breakfast. When compared to people without the disease, persons with Type 2 diabetes have a six-year shorter life expectancy at age 50.

It raises your risk of cancer. 

According to Karen Basen-Engquist, Ph.D. from the Department of Behavioral Science at MD Anderson, sitting too much can be harmful to your health and raise your risk of colorectal, ovarian, and endometrial cancers. Compared to women who sit for less than three hours, those who spend six hours or more sitting in their free time had a 10% increased chance of acquiring cancer. This risk is particularly significant for multiple myeloma, ovarian cancer, and invasive breast cancer.

Cancer can be lethal, and the likelihood of death varies according to the type and stage of the disease. In the world, cancer is one of the main causes of death, accounting for close to 10 million deaths annually, according to the World Health Organization.