How Sitting Too Much Affects Your Health

So, as i’m writing this, we are still in the mists of a global pandemic with many still not back to their place of work.

What has likely increased during these recent months is your time in a sat position. And not the sat position that our bodies are built to be sat in.

What i’m talking about is the natural squat that the human body is built to sit in, or in a kneeling or side sitting position. Of course you’ve got the long legged L sit position, where the tailbone will be the ideal point of contact for the body; similarly is crossed legged, something as a child that comes naturally and is practiced in schools in the UK for an upright floor sitting position.

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Slouching, putting pressure on the lumbar spine.

When you are sat for a prolonged amount of time your body begins to slow down, this affects the bodies ability to break down fat, regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Studies have also linked the inactivity increasing obesity, leading to further complications with diabetes and cancers.

Researchers have found that adults in the UK can spend 9+ hours in a sat position. 9 HOURS A DAY, this doesn’t include sleeping (7-9 hours).

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Me trying to work out how longs left in a day.

All jokes aside, say you sit for 9 hours and sleep for 8 (optimal sleep) that’s only 7 hours of possible movement from 24 hours. But lets be honest, how many people get 7 hours of time on their feet. I know for sure that some days even in a physically depending job I just about get 7 hours…

With also the issue of being sat for so long is the changing of position, becoming slouched. This leads to pressure on the lumber (lower) spine, forward positioned neck, rounding of the shoulders, shortening of hip flexors, weakening of the glutes and abdominals.

So, what can you do to change and improve your sitting positioning?

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Deep Squat. Bum as close to the floor with heels in contact at all times. Improves balance and posture.
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Kneeling, allows for upright posture. Will need to stand and move legs regularly. Which means more movement. YES!
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Side Sitting. Comfortable, easy to switch between each leg position, allows for upright posture.

The take away from this, is that all sitting positions are not optimal for the human body, however the closer to the floor the better as it will increase regular movement due to either uncomfortable position or to allow blood to continue to flow. This will increase your overall movement and less time spent sat down.

More time spent moving has multiple health benefits that will change the way you live your life.

Thanks for taking your time to read my blog.

Written by

BSc PT Aaron Goacher

Aaron is a graduate Sports Therapist, Fitness Coach and has been training since the age of 15, after suffering from an illness which stopped muscle growth and function, he has always had an interest in everything sports, health and fitness related.