In part 1, I looked at the impact of sitting on your muscles, but what happens in the rest of your body?
We are all familiar with the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) if we take long flights. This is because sitting for long periods of time slows blood circulation, which causes fluid to pool in legs. This creates problems ranging from swollen ankles, varicose beings to dangerous blood clots.
Osteoporosis is a disease marked by reduced bone strength leading to an increased risk of fractures, or broken bones. Bone strength has two main features: bone mass (amount of bone) and bone quality. Osteoporosis is often called a “silent disease” because it usually progresses without any symptoms until a fracture occurs or one or more vertebrae (bones in the spine) collapse. Weight-bearing activities such as walking and running stimulate hip and lower-body bones to grow thicker, denser and stronger. Medical researchers partially attribute the recent surge in cases of osteoporosis to lack of activity.
Garrett, Brasure et al, 2004, Physical Inactivity Direct Cost To A Health Plan, American Journal of Preventative Medicine; Vol 27 No 4, Pages 304–309 See http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797%2804%2900191-6/abstract?cc=yWeight Gain
As the body slows down while in a resting and seated positions, the metabolism naturally slows down. Calories are burned at a far lower rate, when you sit, you burn only about one calorie a minute!. For some people this can lead to weight gain becoming an issues. Being overweight is a known risk factor for many common chronic conditions including