Sitting is an activity that is often done by humans, especially when working in an office. Sitting at a desk with busy office work makes it difficult to stand for a moment to relax your body. However, according to experts, there are health problems caused by the habit of sitting for too long.1 You may have heard the phrase of “sitting is the new smoking”. Although it may sound like an exaggeration to compare sitting for too long with smoking, sitting too much can cause health problems similar to those caused by smoking.2
What Are The Risks of Sitting Too Long?
Here are the adverse health effects of sitting too long:3,4
1. Heart Disease
The results of the study found that people who sat for too long had double the risk of developing heart disease compared to people who often stood. In addition, experts also state that people who spend more time sitting have a 147 percent risk of suffering from heart attack or stroke.
2. Risk of Diabetes
Experts suggest that sitting for too long can increase the risk of developing diabetes by 112 percent. This may be caused by changes in body reaction to insulin and causes insulin resistance.
3. Cancer Risk
Experts suggest that sitting for too long can trigger certain types of cancer, such as lung, colon, and uterine cancer. The more you sit for too long, the greater the chance of getting cancer. The reasons for this are not entirely clear.
4. Weight Gain
Sitting for too long can increase the risk of being overweight or obese due to decreased release of molecules, such as lipoprotein lipase, which help to process the fats and sugars you consume. You are also at greater risk for metabolic syndrome. According to a research shows that men who spend more time sitting for too long will have an increased risk of being overweight in the midsection area and this condition could increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
5. Causes Varicose Veins
Sitting for too long can put additional pressure on the veins in the legs, thereby impeding blood flow and causing spider veins or varicose veins to appear. While generally harmless, varicose veins can be unsightly and can even be painful.
How to Avoid Sitting Too Long?
Here are some tips that you could do:5
1. Stand for a moment from sitting every 30 minutes.
2. Receive a phone call while standing.
3. Walk around the office area during breaks.
4. Stretch your body every 2-3 hours.
5. Improvise with a higher desk so you can work standing up.
6. Conduct meetings with colleagues while walking rather than sitting in the meeting room.
Redaksi Halodoc. Kelamaan Duduk Sambil Merokok Bisa Kena Penyakit Mematikan. Last review on December 18, 2018. Available at: https://www.halodoc.com/artikel/kelamaan-duduk-sambil-merokok-bisa-kena-penyakit-mematikan
P2PTM Kemenkes RI. Duduk Terlalu Lama, Berisiko Bagi Kesehatan. Last review on February 5, 2018. Available at: https://p2ptm.kemkes.go.id/artikel-penyakit/duduk-terlalu-lama-berisiko-bagi-kesehatan
Anna Schaefer. 10 Things That Happen When You Sit Down All Day. Last review on July 8, 2017. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/workplace-health/things-that-happen-when-you-sit-down-all-day
Tyler Wheeler. Why Sitting Too Much Is Bad for Your Health. Last review on January 25, 2022. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/ss/slideshow-sitting-health
Edward R. Laskowski. What are the risks of sitting too much?. Last review on July 13, 2022. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005