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The Eight Health Hazards Of Sitting, And The Five Exercises That Can Help

It should come as no surprise that staying active is infinitely better for your health than sitting around all day. However, I had no idea just howbad sitting could be for you.

According to WebMD, “A new study suggests that the more people sit each day, the greater their risk for chronic health problems, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.”

While this might sound disheartening particularly for those whose jobs require a lot of sitting there is actually something you can do about it.

Just like there are exercises you can do to get rid of arm flab, there are several simple exercises you can do to help combat the negative effects of sitting.

Scroll through this exclusive list below to see exactly how sitting is negatively impacting your body, and exactly what you can do about it.

And as a person who sits all day for a living, I’m so glad I know this information it could be a lifesaver!

Do you spend most of your day sitting? Will you be giving these health-improving exercises a try? Let us know in the comments.

Eight Unseen Health Hazards of Sitting

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

It may come as a surprise, but sitting all day can have a negative impact on many different parts of the body.

Professor Richard Rosenkranz writes, “It’s not just that people aren’t getting enough physical activity, but it’s that they’re also sitting too much.”

Scroll through below to see how sitting may be affecting your health. Then keep scrolling for five easy exercises to combat these negative effects!

The Colon

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Sitting all day can have a negative impact on your colon.

According toThe Washington Post, “Studies have linked sitting to a greater risk for colon, breast, and endometrial cancer.” One theory is that “regular movement boosts natural antioxidants that kill cell-damaging and potentially cancer-causing free radicals.”

The Lower Back

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

It might seem obvious, but the lower back can also suffer from sitting for too long.

Dr. Joseph Mercola writes, “Sitting puts more pressure on your spine than standing, and the toll on your back health is even worse if you’re sitting hunched in front of a computer. It’s estimated that 40 percent of people with back pain have spent long hours at their computer each day.”

The Neck

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

In addition to neck pain associated with bad sitting posture, the neck can also be robbing you of much-needed sleep.

The Wealth of Health posts, “Fluid retained in the legs during the day moves to the neck at night and contributes to obstructive sleep apnea.”

Healthline continues that prolonged sitting will cause “stiff shoulders and neck.”

The Heart

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

The heart and the entire circulatory system can suffer as a result of sitting for too long each day.

According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, “Prolonged sitting time was associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk… A combination of low physical activity and prolonged sitting augments cardiovascular disease risk.”

The Pancreas

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

In addition to several other internal organs, the pancreas can suffer if you are sitting all day long.

According toThe Washington Post, “Cells in idle muscles don’t respondas readily to insulin, so the pancreas produces more and more, which can lead to diabetes and other diseases.”

The Hips

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Just like the lower back, the hips can be negatively impacted by prolonged sitting and poor posture.

According to Healthline, “Your hips and back will suffer from sitting. Sitting causes your hip flexers to shorten… particularly if you have bad posture or don’t use an ergonomic chair.”

They continue that this “can lead to premature degeneration, which results in chronic pain.”

The Legs

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Sitting all day can also have a negative impact on your legs.

According to the Wealth of Health, “Fluid collects in the legs during sitting. Walking helps pump it out before it causes problems.”

In addition, WebMD writes, “Sitting for an extended period of time can increase chances of developing varicose or spider veins.”

The Head

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

One of the many negative effects of sitting can be an increased risk for a stroke.

According to the Wealth of Health, “Blood clots that form after sitting too rigidly can travel to the brain, causing strokes.”

Fortunately, all is not lost. In addition to taking frequent breaks from your seat, there are several extremely easy exercises that can combat the negative effects of sitting.

Scroll through below to find out how to retake control ofyour health!

Five Easy Exercises to Combat the Health Hazards of Sitting
Exercise #1: The Book Press

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

The book press is an extremely easy exercise to get the blood flowing and to combat some of the negative effects of sitting.

  1. Stand holding a book above your head.
  2. Bend your elbows to a 90 angle, lowering the book behind your head.
  3. Straighten your arms, bringing the book overhead.
  4. Repeat this 10 times.

Exercise #2: The Neck Roll

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

The neck roll is a great way to combat stiffness and get the blood moving again.

  1. Standing, drop your chin forward to your chest.
  2. Slowly rotate your head to the right.
  3. Hold your head for a five-count.
  4. Slowly rotate your head back down, and then to the left.
  5. Hold your head for a five-count.
  6. Continue this for 30 seconds.

Exercise #3: The Foot Flex

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

The foot flex is a good way to combat the effects of sitting.

  1. Sitting or standing, place your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Raise your toe up toward the ceiling, until you feel a stretch.
  3. Lower your foot to flat again.
  4. Raise your heel, placing pressure on the toes, until you feel a stretch.
  5. Lower your foot to flat again.
  6. Repeat this 10 times on both sides.

Exercise #4: The Torso Twist

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

The torso twist is something you can do at work without drawing too much attention to yourself.

  1. Place your legs over the side of the chair.
  2. Twist your torso so your shoulders, chest, and head are facing backward.
  3. Hold the twist for 10 seconds.
  4. Release and repeat this 10 times.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

Exercise #5: The Walk

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Okay, so the walk isn’t really an “exercise.” But getting up from your chair and going for a walk is crucial to fighting the negative sitting effects.

Sean McNeely ofHeartAndStroke.com writes, “The trick is changing my thinking realizing that I can be effective at working while in motion and not simply when hunched over my computer.”

He continues, “The physical benefits were obvious I felt more alert, energized, and nowhere near as fatigued at the end of the day.”

Being aware of the negative effects of sitting is the first step. Andperformingthese easy exercises can be a great way to fight back and regain control over your health.

Will you be trying these exercises yourself? What doyou do to combat the negative effects of sitting? Let us know in the comments.

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