How long does a normal person sit daily?
Experts say that an average individual sits for a total of 10 hours per day which increases when a person gets older. This amount of sitting period is associated with work and common leisure activities outdoor and at home, such as watching TV, playing video games, checking social media accounts, eating, drinking, etc.
How bad is this?
A research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found out that around 69,276 deaths are linked with prolonged sitting while the American Journal of Public Health says that sitting for long hours increases the risk of chronic diseases and early death risk by 10 to 20 percent.
The following are health risks that could be prevented with reduced sitting hours:
Inactivity increases the cholesterol that circulates in the body because the muscles cannot utilize the cholesterol well when it is not conditioned – being stuck in one position for a long time.
A study has found that people who sit longer have a thinner temporal lobe – the part of the brain that is responsible for processing emotions and memory – that may affect mood, recall, and increase the risk of dementia.
Type 2 Diabetes
16.9% of 700,000 people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are associated with a sedentary lifestyle. This is because a prolonged sitting weakens the enzymes that balances the insulin in your body by fighting the excess sugar in your cells. An increase in sugar and fats in the blood causes the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
The formation of fats can be exacerbated by prolonged sitting. This is because the more compressed a fat cell is, the more it expands. These expanded fats stiffen while they grow and as a result, will affect other tissues near it.
A study on sedentary TV viewing has found that in 118 cases of early-onset of colorectal cancer without a family history, a 12% of the increase in risk was associated with one hour of sitting while for those who sit 2 hours per day, the risk goes up to 70%.
Endometrial is a part of a woman’s uterus. Some factors that may increase the risk of developing a cancer cell in the endometrium are obesity and type 2 diabetes because they are both linked to the hormonal imbalance in the body. Increased fat tissue affects the woman’s estrogen levels that affect the risk of endometrial cancer.
Prolonged sitting puts excessive stress on the back and other parts of the body which causes Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) – injuries in the muscles, tendons, and spine.
How long you should sit to live longer
Gavin Bradley, Director of Active Working, recommends that for people who do excessive sitting – sitting for a total of 8 hours – a two to four hours of that 8 hours must be spent walking, stretching, going up and down the stairs, strolling around the office, or other things that could disrupt prolonged sitting.
Alternatively, an individual can take a break in every 30 minutes of sitting to give the body the time to return to its natural process.