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Sitting all day at your desk or hanging out of the couch at home have proven to have a serious effect on human health. How can you change that all around without changing your life?
Many Americans are happy and comfortable to sit at a desk, working away, for several hours in a day. Unfortunately, whether you are a hard worker or just too lazy to get up, the health risks of sitting for long hours each day arise quickly. The truth is, the longer you sit, the bigger your butt.

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Okay, that may be a slight misinterpretation, but scientists know that sitting for long hours, starting at just a few hours in a row, kicks the body into a process which increases fat storage and slows the work of insulin to uptake glucose. This happens because when we sit, muscles stop contracting at their normal rate, and slow by about 40% compared to just walking.

This is just a small way that the process begins. However, when it comes to sitting for long periods several days in a row, the real problem occurs. Scientists examined what happens to people who sit for up to 6 hours per day. In these studies, it only took 2 weeks for serious physiological changes to take place.

If you sit for 6 or more hours each day, your risk of cardiovascular disease increases by up to 64%, and 7 years of good quality of life can easily be lost. To make matters worse, many people sit for up to 15 hours per day. The risk of developing several types of cancers also increases with a sedentary lifestyle.

2 Weeks at the Desk

After your first 2 weeks of sitting, scientists have noted increases in insulin levels signifying increases in blood sugar levels, as well as increases in bad cholesterol, and fatty molecules. This means that your muscles have stopped taking up fat for energy, and oxygen consumption drops. What does all this really mean for you? Your body is about to start a process of accumulating fat, and you will feel out of breath taking brisk walks or climbing a flight of stairs.

12 Months at the Desk

Once the routine has set in, the dangers of sitting for more than 6 hours per day become more obvious and long-term. You'll likely notice changes in your body. Fat accumulation is almost inevitable, along with loss of muscle mass, and even bone density. A study published by Nature explained just how bad it can be for women to sit for long hours each day, losing up to 1% of bone density each year!


Sitting still for several hours is not how we were built. People were designed to move around. These odds aren't looking so good; however, there are a few simple things you can do to counteract and fight back for those years of good life and good health.

Continue reading after recommendations

  • “How Sitting all Day is Damaging your Body and How You Can Counteract It” By Thorin Klasowski. Published January 2012. Accessed April 2012. Retrieved from: http://lifehacker.com/5879536/how-sitting-all-day-is-damaging-your-body-and-how-you-can-counteract-it
  • Photo courtesy of derek_ on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/derek_/389351357
  • Photo courtesy of joanna8555 on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/joanna8555/4931918501