Studies have shown that sitting down for long hours may lead to death, especially when it’s done frequently. The sitting duration that is bad for human health is six or more hours per day. Statistics have shown that sitting for long hours increases the risk of dying by around 19%, as compared to those who sit for less than 3 hours per day. According to one of the studies performed by the American Cancer society, sitting for long unhealthy hours may kill in different 14 ways. Some of these diseases include the following;

  1. Cancer
  2. Heart diseases
  3. Diabetes mellitus
  4. Stroke
  5. Kidney disease
  6. Suicide
  7. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  8. Lung disease
  9. Liver disease
  10. Peptic ulcer
  11. Digestive disease
  12. Parkinson’s disease
  13. Alzheimer’s disease
  14. Musculoskeletal disease.

It’s important to know about this diseases, and how sitting down for long hours can lead to their development.

  1. Cancer: Cancer is a group of diseases that involve the abnormal growth of cells, which have the potential to spread to other parts of the body. There are over a hundred types of cancer diseases that affect humans. Cancer if not well managed, leads to death. In fact, even with proper treatment, a cancer disease that is diagnosed late offers a very poor diagnosis. Although some people are more predisposed to having cancer, due to their genetics, people’s lifestyle also plays a huge role. As an illustration, smokers are more liable to have cancers associated with the respiratory system. In addition, living a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of developing cancer. Individuals who do not engage in regular exercise, or sit for long hours also have an increased the risk of having this disease. Overall, cancer is one of the most common cause of death in the world. This is why it’s important to endeavor to exercise regularly. A high body mass index predisposes people to some form of cancer diseases.
  2. Heart diseases: Exercise helps to burn fat, thereby reducing their cholesterol level. It also helps lose weight, boosting people’s confidence, giving them more energy and consequently increasing their lifespan. Some of the examples of the exercise that the patient can involve in include swimming, walking, and some other lightweight exercises. The patient should endeavor to avoid stress, as this can trigger heart attacks. One of the most common causes of the heart-related disease is the deposition of fat plaques in the vessels.
  3. Diabetes mellitus: Diabetic Mellitus is a metabolic disorder, in which there is hyperglycemia, also known as high blood sugar, over a long time. Diabetes mellitus has many causes, which ranges from autoimmunity, and the patient might also experience insulin resistance. Diabetes mellitus comes with 3 main symptoms, and these are frequent and excessive urination, also known as polyuria, polyphagia (increased hunger), and polydipsia (increased thirst). Diabetes predisposes the body to a number of other diseases, such as hypertension, and coronary heart diseases. Keeping fit significantly reduces the risk of developing this disease, as diabetes mellitus is closely linked to obesity, and overweight.
  4. Stroke: A stroke is a condition in which the supply of blood to a part of the brain is disturbed or interrupted. This leads to an insufficient flow of blood to the brain. It is one of the most leading causes of death in the world. Body tissues and cells begin to die when they don’t receive a good supply of oxygen, however, the duration in tissues differ. As an illustration, brain cells begin to die off in less than minutes of no oxygen supply. This is what happens in stroke, the brain cells that don’t receive sufficient oxygen begins to die off. There are two main types of stroke. They are ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. The signs and symptoms of stroke may impairment in movement or a paralysis of a side of the body. It’s important to engage in physical activities regularly if you sit for long hours per day.
  5. Kidney disease
  6. Suicide: This is the act of taking one’s life intentionally. This could be caused by many reasons. Some of these include conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, difficult circumstances, substance abuse and so on. However, it has been observed that working out, or even running regularly, helps to relieve worries, thereby reducing the risk of getting depressed.
  7. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive pulmonary disorder. It is a chronic inflammatory disease. Basically, it causes the obstruction to the flow of air that is emanating from the lungs. The patient suffers from breathlessness. There are two major types of COPD, and these are Chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Sitting down for long hours may worsen the symptoms of this medical condition.
  8. Parkinson’s disease: Parkinson’s disease is a chronic degenerative disorder that affects the nerve cells of the central nervous system. It essentially affects the nerves that control the motor system of the body. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease, that starts with mild symptoms, then progresses to more severe symptoms. Some of the early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are difficulty with walking, due to muscle rigidity, trembling and so on. Other symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease are depression, emotional instability, and abnormal sleep cycle. These symptoms tend to change over time. The cause is still unknown, however, researchers believe it’s a combination of both genetic and some environmental factors. Sitting for a long period of time increases the risk of developing this disease.
  9. Alzheimer’s disease: Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that progress and worsens over time. This disease is responsible for over 70% of all dementia cases. This disease presents with symptoms such as deterioration of the memory, and also the impairment in reasoning, making executive decisions, speaking and language, perception, a sudden change in mood, confusion and so on. People affected by this disease also tend to isolate themselves from people

The message to be picked up from this article is that it’s important to move more. Sitting down for long hours take tolls on the body, and significantly increases the risk of dying. However, if you must sit down for long periods, taking breaks in between sitting down does improve the body cholesterol, blood glucose, and blood pressure.


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Slattery, M. (1996). How Much Physical Activity Do We Need to Maintain Health and Prevent Disease? Different Diseases-Different Mechanisms. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 67(2), pp.209-212.