Is Sitting the New Smoking?

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The True Impact of Sitting

On average, adults spend about 8 to 10 hours a day sitting down. This number may not seem like that much time; but when you consider that we are only awake for roughly 15 hours of the day, it means that we are spending a jaw-dropping 66 percent of our waking hours sitting down. Whether you’re sitting for a long time at work, or sitting because of your age, weight, or just out of sheer laziness, there is no denying that we have an addiction to sitting down. When you spend a lot of your time sitting, not only are you at risk for developing vein disease, including varicose veins and spider veins, but you’re also at risk for numerous other health conditions. Negative health effects of sitting include:

Sitting can be very hard to avoid in today’s modern society. We value convenience and relaxation above health and exercise, and unfortunately a lack of awareness has caused many people to suffer from the preventable consequences of sitting for long periods of time.

Is Sitting the New Smoking?

We all should know by now that prolonged sitting is not a healthy activity. Our bodies are meant to move around and be active, not stagnant

is sitting the new smoking - physical inactivity infographic

in one position for hours at a time. Even though most of us are aware of this, many don’t realize how harmful it can be because the damage is not always visible. The consequences of excessive sitting are often unnoticeable, internal, and can cause little to no symptoms.

A good way to think of the dangers of sitting is like the affects of smoking cigarettes. Chronic smokers usually won’t start noticing any health effects until later on in their life, and for the lucky ones, maybe never. The same applies to living an excessively sedentary lifestyle, the damage is long-term and comes on gradually.

Effects of Sitting or Standing for Long Periods

As mentioned earlier, excessive sitting can lead to several health conditions like weight gain and varicose veins. As more weight is gained, increased pressure is being put on the veins in your legs. The added pressure, along with the heart struggling to pump blood properly against gravity causes the veins to become more irritated, swollen, and painful. Venous insufficiency, also known as vein disease, is the underlying cause of varicose and spider veins. They are also commonly accompanied with uncomfortable symptoms, which can cause some to refrain from exercising in an attempt to avoid more pain or irritation.

However, lack of proper exercise restricts blood flow, while also contributing to weight gain. When you combine excessive sitting, lack of exercise, and weight gain, the risk of developing serious health conditions increases significantly. The effects of sitting or being mostly sedentary lifestyle are irreversible. Even if you exercise regularly and live a healthy lifestyle, but still spend most of your waking hours sitting down, you’re still not protected from the associated risks.

So, What Can You Do?

Standing is not necessarily the answer to avoiding the affects of prolonged sitting. Standing the entire day can have a similar impact on your overall health. The main goal is to spread out activity throughout the day and not just all at once in the gym.

Sitting for more than three hours at a time without moving should be avoided at all costs. If you work in an office, you might think it’s difficult to find opportunities to incorporate more activity into the day, but you would be surprised how active you can be from the comfort of your own desk.

There are other, less-noticeable solutions too, you can get a fancy ergonomic chair or an interactive foot rest, or invest in a posture-corrector that reminds you when you’re slouching or if you’ve been sitting for too long. If you want a more cost-friendly solution, try adding in some posture-correcting exercises into your workout routine. Or you can start small by getting up every half hour to walk around for a few minutes at a time.

There is Hope

Sitting is hard to avoid. As our world becomes more convenient, we become more sedentary. We want to minimize the amount of work required to maximize profits and rewards. But as we know now know, it all comes at a cost. It’s so important to constantly make positive efforts that benefit your health and overall well-being. The effects of sitting or standing for a long time can be damaging to your health if you don’t take the necessary precautions. Don’t let your addiction to chairs get in the way of the plans you have for your future.

Got Varicose Veins? Contact USA Vein Clinics

Don’t let your symptoms cause you to avoid exercising. If you’re skipping the gym because of leg pain, vein treatment may be your solution. Whether you’ve been diagnosed or are interested in getting checked for underlying vein disease, clinics offer a variety of treatments for vein disease, including varicose and spider veins. Vein treatments take between 15 to 30 minutes depending on the number of veins affected. If you’re ready to join the fight against a sedentary life, contact us at 888.768.3467 to learn more about which treatment would work best for you.

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