It’s somewhat interesting that a link has been found between excessive sitting and mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. The only probable explanation available for now is that being deprived of the mental health benefits attached to regular exercise could lead to such problems if one sits too much. Even more interesting is the fact that emerging studies suggest that prolonged sitting can increase your risk of certain types of cancer, including lung, uterine, and colon cancers. Now this one has no explanation yet, researchers have simply not been able to talk this one through.
Have you ever been on a long journey that required you to sit for hours? If yes, did you experience any form of leg swelling? If yes, then you will understand this part better. The veins of the leg have to transport blood back to the heart and have the difficult task of performing this against gravity. When you’re doing any activity that requires making use of your leg muscles such as walking, the veins are milked towards the heart by the contracting muscles. So, what happens when you sit too long? The blood pools back in the leg. This can lead to swollen, visible and tortuous vessels known as varicose veins. A varicose vein is seldom a problem, until it leads to a deep venous thrombosis which is a form of blood clot that can get dislodged and usually ends up in the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. Death is a common sequelae of pulmonary embolism.
What should we do? Build more activities into your day. Walk, walk and stand. Take that walk to your office if it’s within walking distance. If not, park your car not too far away and walk down to office sometimes. When at work, there’s a lot of things you can do standing. All phone calls don’t need to be taken sitting. Take a break once in a while and walk down to say hello to a colleague. Workout sessions every now and then are not a bad idea either and should be considered.
Too much sitting literally makes you a sitting duck.