To be clear, sitting in itself is harmless. But the problem is that most of us do not pay adequate attention to how we sit throughout the day. Bad posture, slouching, etc., can do more harm than good in the long run, i.e. leading to medical conditions like diabetes. Adults do pay attention! We are sitting more than ever.
When do We “Sit Down”?
Before covering the link between one’s risk of diabetes and long hours of sitting, let’s take a moment to contemplate the reasons we sit. For starters, you are probably sitting while reading this. Other common sitting activities include using your smartphone, watching the television, using the computer, talking on the phone, and more. Next, spend a few minutes and think about all the sitting that has happened across your lifetime. Now, that’s a lot of sitting right?
The Hours of Being Sedentary are Increasing!
Continual research has shown that the amount of time spent sitting down has not stopped increasing. With automated solutions, such as online shopping and deliveries, an increasing number of older adults are expected to sit longer. Here’s the scary truth: older adults spend up to 86% of their waking day sedentary.
Why is Long Hours of Sitting Bad?
When you choose to sit for long periods without getting up to move around, the weight-bearing muscles of your legs stay dormant. Due to inaction, your muscles are unable to utilize fats and sugars efficiently. Note that they are floating around in your blood, and that’s why some have theorized that this issue can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and other metabolic diseases.
Did you know that reduced blood flow in your arteries can lead to the formation of blood vessel walls? This is considered to be a hostile condition, and if left untreated over a lifetime, the injury contributes to peripheral artery disease and/or heart disease. Let’s not forget that letting blood collect in your veins also leads to an increased risk of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and blood clots. Keep in mind that DVT is potentially life-threatening. If a part of the blood clot breaks off without warning and becomes an obstruction, that clot can travel through your circulation system and reach your heart. Once there, it may enter one of the pulmonary arteries and becomes lodged.
What Should You be Doing?
It’s never too late to start making a positive change! Make it a habit to stand up and move around from time to time; it can stop these negative processes. You will also want to monitor your sitting patterns throughout the day. You might already know that light activities help protect you against the negative consequences of sitting. Why not try moderate-intensity activities such as brisk walking? It’s even better. Believe in yourself and this mantra: stand up more, sit less, move more, and more often. Start turning things around and say NO to diabetes!
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