Sitting Disease is an outcome of sedentary lifestyles and as you might have guessed- excessive sitting.
Nowadays, we find ourselves sitting for everything- for traveling, waiting, eating, studying, and for relaxing (like sitting on a couch). Part of what makes the Sitting Disease so important to know about is that even individuals who are considered “physically fit” are at risk.
Consequences of Excessive Sitting
Some of the consequences of excessive sitting may include a weaker core, low back pain, hemorrhoids, visceral (or belly) fat, and an increased risk of all-cause mortality.
Low Back Pain (LBP):
Weak core muscles that result from excessive sitting can predispose an individual to low back pain. This is especially true if he/she holds an awkward posture. Low back pain used to be a problem only common amongst older adults, due to gradual wear-and-tear. But low back pain is now a problem in the young.
Young people are spending more and more time engaging in sedentary activities such as tv watching, playing video games, and using a desktop/laptop. This is partly due to new technology that makes everything achievable with minimal physical effort.
These are swollen, bulgy veins, in the rectal area that may cause discomfort and bleeding while going to the bathroom. Hemorrhoids may result for a number of reasons and are more common than we might think. Excessive sitting can predispose an individual to hemorrhoids due to a lack of movement and circulation.
This becomes especially true for individuals that couple a sedentary lifestyle with a diet low in dietary fiber. The lack of fiber and sitting for too long may lead to constipation, which means a lot of straining during bowel movements – another probable cause.
Visceral (Belly) Fat:
The true dangers of belly fat often goes unrecognized due to an emphasis on BMI or percent body fat measures. But belly fat, visceral fat in specific, is the most dangerous type of fat there is.
Belly fat consists mainly of two types- subcutaneous (under the skin) and visceral (around the organs). Excess visceral fat can over-time lead to fatty acids deposition in various organ including the liver, pancreas, and heart. This accumulation in fatty acids alters organ function, such as in glucose and lipid metabolism. This can add to the incidence of non-communicable diseases. It is important to stay active and exercise core muscles to avoid excess belly fat and subsequent health problems.
The Sitting Contribution to Cardiovascular Disease
Excessive sitting may contribute to cardiovascular disease (CVD). A post from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine went as far as to say that even those who are “physically fit” and exercise are at risk for CVD due to excessive sitting (1).
“… even for people with high levels of physical activity, there seems to be a threshold of about 10 hours of sitting,” wrote Cardiologist, Erin Donnelly Michos. She then recommends taking small breaks from long periods of sitting to lower the adverse effects.
Excessive sitting may be an unavoidable part of the day, especially for those who work desk jobs. Even if sitting is necessary, being conscious of the harm it causes can lead to behavioral changes to counteract it. It is important to engage in some form of daily exercise and get more steps into daily routines.
Repetitive hunching motion coupled with inactivity causes a muscular cycle of weakness and tightness. Santa Cruz Core practitioners give you the support and tools you need to get out of pain and back into a healthy neuro-muscular balance. We encourage you to give us a call, so we can personally address your particular concerns.
“Sitting Disease: How a Sedentary Lifestyle Affects Heart Health.” Hopkinsmedicine.org, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_heart/move_more/sitting-disease–how-a-sedentary-lifestyle-affects-heart-health.
“Heart Disease.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Nov. 2017, www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm.