Sitting kills: 8 Most Harmful Sitting Effects On Health

There is no doubt that to sit for a long time before your Tv or computer or laptop has lots of adverse impacts on human health. Therefore in this article, we will discuss long time sitting and cope with these habits. If you are reading this article sitting, by the middle of the text you will want to get up, and by the end – to make an essential step towards a healthier lifestyle.

The last decade’s humanity has been sitting up. For example, in the USA, where it is mainly honorable to sit at work late, they write about the average 10 hours of being in the office per day.

According to scientists’ calculations,  most of the people spend 14 hours 39 minutes a day in a sitting position. In addition to working directly in the office (or working hours for computers at home) an average of 2.5 hours a day is due to watching TV playing games for a long time and sitting at the computer.

 sitting kills

It almost about 75% of office time we sit, and all the worse, the fact that the periods of “sitting out” are mostly quite long – more than 30 minutes, which is very, very unhealthy and could be harmful to your health. And also there are lots of adverse effects of depression or serotonin

The Science Of The Dangers of Sitting: 8 Proven Consequences

The first evidence that a long time to sit is very harmful to health appeared relatively recently: in the 1950s.

Then the British scientists compared the data on coronary insufficiency among bus drivers (they sit all the time) and conductors (they are always on their feet). Both professions in Britain attracted people of similar age, and sex and age-adjusted physical condition and the data, and this gave some semblance of objectivity analysis.

The conclusion of scientists: among conductors, the incidence of heart disease was significantly lower than among drivers.

1. Prolonged sitting leads to excess weight

The outcome of scientists is quite apparent: among people working sitting, there are often more frequent cases of obesity. It is estimated that over the past 50 years since most jobs have become sedentary, in the United States the average American began to spend 120-140 calories per day less.

2. Increased the ratio of heart attack

A large-scale study, involving more than 17k people and lasting more than 13 years, showed that people who lead a sedentary lifestyle have a 54% chance of dying from a heart attack.

3. Increased the risk of chronic diseases

In a study that covered more than 63,000 Australians, it was found that men who spent more than 4 hours in a sitting position were more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses, in particular, heart disease and diabetes, as confirmed by both previous points.

4. Decreases life expectancy

Scientists have studied data on watching television for 11 thousand people from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and found that people were sitting in front of the TV for 6 or more hours a day, on average, live 4.8 years less than those who do not watch TV.

And one more figure from the same study:  every hour spent sitting at the blue screen after 25 years of age reduces the expected life expectancy by 22 minutes.


5. The risk of death from cancer increases

According to one data, people who spend a lot of time in a sitting position increase the risk of certain types of cancer to 66%  compared to those who do not abuse the seat.

One study also showed that a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of endometrial cancer by 32%, a 24% increase in the risk of developing colorectal cancer and 21% of lung cancer.

Every extra 2 hours of sitting a day add to the risk of getting a colorectal cancer of 8%.

6. Increased risk of kidney disease

In a 2012 study, scientists found a link between kidney disease and a sedentary lifestyle. For example, among women who spend less than 3 hours in a sitting position, the risk of chronic kidney disease is as much as 30% lower.

7. Sitting negatively affects mental health

Women who continued to mostly sit and work outside the study conducted in 2013 reported problems with mental health.

8. People with disabilities are more likely to be found among sedentary people

Scientists who led the study found that every hour spent sitting, people aged 60 years and over was associated with a 50% greater probability of becoming disabled.

Is it Possible to Reduce The Risks Of Sitting If You Engage In Physical Activity?

Experts from New York gathered the conclusions of scientists: it does not matter whether you run every day or regularly go to the gym – this does not save you from the risks of long sitting. If you spend a lot of time sitting – at work in the office, in the car, on the couch, you take on the increased risks of cancer, heart disease, kidney disease and reduce your life.

Dr. Graham Kolditz of the Washington University School of Medicine calls to inform people that physical activity and long sitting are different things:

why People do not talk about long sitting as much as about classes in fitness halls and jogs, but it should be!”

How Long Can I Sit?

People, in general, began to move slightly little and stayed longer. According to WHO, only 5% of people in the world perform the recommended minimum rate: to engage in physical activity 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes.

The expert advice of scientists published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine: to stand standing or on the move at least 2 hours out of an 8-hour day.

And this is the minimum bar: in general, experts recommend gradually reducing the proportion of seats and at least half the working time in a certain activity: walking or just standing up.

But here you need to know the measure and not to go from one extreme to the other. Experts also recommend not to stand more than 5 hours a day. Work standing for a long time causes pain in the joints, swelling, worsening blood circulation and fatigue.

Sit, Stand Or Both?

Gavin Bradley, the head of the international group Active Working, promotes the reduction of sitting time. Bradley himself radically changed his approach to work; he starts his working day standing on a comfortable mat in front of a working computer. Every 30 minutes on the timer, Gavin changes the position from standing to sitting and vice versa.

In some companies, employees are motivated to walk more (and be healthier and more efficient): install coolers with water far away and even remove individual wastebaskets, prompting to walk to centralized.

Also, the recommendations of scientists and experts include:

  • Move more often on foot.
  • Do not rush to get on public transport.
  • Walk around the office to a colleague instead of calling him.
  • Spend working meetings standing up.
  • Get up when you talk on the phone.
  • Take a walk at lunchtime, dine out of the office.
  • Instead of a lift and an escalator, use the stairs.
  • Take breaks during work and spend a simple workout.
  • Work at the computer in the mode of sitting/standing.


Work Standing

Today many advanced employers give their employees the opportunity to equip a standing place for work.

In addition to getting rid of many potential health problems, the alternation between sitting and standing gives several significant advantages.

1. Burning more calories

When working standing, approximately 35% more calories are burned than in a sitting position. And as you know from the law of energy balance – this is the crucial factor for losing weight or maintaining weight.

3 hours of standing during the day provide burning about 150 kcal (the exact figure depends on your characteristics).

Thus, if you change your way of life and spend 3 hours on your feet  During the working day, You can burn about 4,500 calories per month. According to the law of energy balance, other things being equal (if you continue to eat and spend calories the rest of the time).  It will allow you reduce the weight by about 0.6 kg per month.

For a year it is possible to burn up to 35 000 kcal – this is how to run a marathon ten times (i.e., almost every month to fulfill the norm for a marathon), 39 times to cross the Bosporus and five times to climb Elbrus.

2. Posture and muscle tone

The spine is not designed to spend a long time in a sitting position. An S-shaped form of the spine allows to withstand high loads, and in the sitting position, S turns into C, which almost blocks the muscles of the press and the back that support the body.

The person stops, the slanting and lateral muscles of the abdomen weaken. And without regular training can no longer cope with body support. When standing, the load on the back is reduced by half. And the muscles of the legs and the press are in tonus.

When you sit, the entire load is transferred to the pelvis and spine, pressure on the intervertebral discs increases. MRI shows that even with the right posture (which happens to rare people and not all the time), sitting causes severe pressure on the back.

3. Productivity

From the scientific point of view, this issue is still controversial. Some experts and studies indicate an increase in efficiency by 15% when standing.

And in a recent study by the Texas A & M University, lasting six months, generally counted the increase in the efficiency of the employees of the koltsentra by 46%  when working at tables with height adjustment.

However, for the sake of fairness, let’s say that there are also studies that have not found any growth in performance while standing.

Jack Callaghan, a professor at the University of Waterloo, analyzed eight scientific sources about standing and productivity. He did not receive any unambiguous conclusions: 3 studies indicated an increase in productivity, another three did not reveal any effect, and one contained mixed results.

It is assumed that the efficiency of the work is also still related to the nature of the activity itself. In the Latvian start-up incubator, Draugiem Group compared labor productivity in standing and sitting positions using its DeskTime application. Productivity was raised in simple tasks, where the main thing is “to take and do.” The person is more focused and less distracted.

4. Solutions For Work Standing


There are inexpensive solutions for working with your existing table, for example, the domestic “Surikatus.” The workplace itself is amazingly simple to build it takes 20 seconds, and if necessary dismantle and carry away it weighs less than 5 kg. The stand will fit on any table, and the height of the table top for your height is easy to adjust.

“Surikatus” is easy to customize, choosing a comfortable position of the hands (There is a wide shelf for the mouse and keyboard, which gives support for the wrists). And that is not less important – when working with the rack, the correct position of the head remains (this is very important for the prevention of the “text neck.”

With “Surikatus” you can work with a laptop with a straight back both sitting and standing, thanks to a removable stand for sitting.

How to properly adjust the table for standing work?

Pay attention to the picture: the optimal height of the tabletop – the beginning of the biceps (with the hand lowered) or, more simply The table top should be just below the elbow level.

Pay attention to the angle of the monitor. If you are reading a book – then at the corner of the countertop. Working behind the desk has a positive effect on vision. Since the working angle 15-17 ° is more efficient for the eyes than the horizontal surface.

Wait for health!

We are almost sure that if you got to these words, we convinced you of the need to move on to alternating sitting and standing work. Do not delay, do not forget and do not score on this important information. Live healthier and prolong your life.

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