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Prolonged Sitting Increases Your Risk of Cancer, Diabetes, and Death

The Dangerous Effects of Sitting at Your Desk

The news keeps getting worse for those of us chained to our desks — that simple act of sitting for hours at a time is doing us way more harm than good. In fact, sitting for prolonged periods of time is so bad for us that not even 30 minutes on the treadmill can counteract its effects (although it's better than nothing). Learn why sitting is detrimental to your health and you might just be inspired to move more.

It increases your risk of cancer: A new study has found that prolonged inactivity increases our risk of certain cancers, including breast and colon cancer. The studies found that women who moved more had smaller waist measurements and lower cancer biomarkers, both of which are risks for developing cancer.

It causes weight gain: One of the most apparent risks of a sedentary lifestyle, of course, is packing on the pounds. In fact, many people blame the growing obesity epidemic on the fact that we sit for the majority of the day. Now that more people have desk jobs than in history, it makes sense that the less we move, the higher the rate of obesity.


More bad news for desk dwellers after the break.

It can be lethal: A recent study found that sitting for too long has been proven to affect different bodily functions — from muscle activity to cholesterol levels — that can cause a shortened life span.

It increases your risk of type 2 diabetes: Prolonged sitting also affects your blood sugar levels, which means that leading a sedentary lifestyle raises your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Don't just take the news sitting down. Even if you aren't exercising every day, make sure you're moving at least every hour — whether that means walking to a co-worker's desk, refilling your water bottle, or taking a five-minute break to walk the halls. How do you prevent prolonged sitting?

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
Vanonymous Vanonymous 5 years
i've worked at a desk for the past 6.5 yrs. (i'm 27). i've noticed back pain and a general feeling of lethargy as a result. I work out in the mornings before work and make a point to exercise on my lunch break, but it still didn't seem to make up for the 8+ hrs. of sitting. I talked to my boss and as of this week, I'm switching to a stand up desk and cannot wait!
TheIronYou TheIronYou 5 years
Personally I have several good habits in order to try to not sit for too long. Whenever I receive a phone call I make sure stand up and walk around my office while talking on the phone. Throughout the day I drink a lot of fluids (water, tea and juices). This is not only beneficial to my body hydration but it forces me to go to the restroom a lot (sometimes a little bit too much, especially when I exceed with the green tea!). When I start feeling soreness in my back or legs because I’ve been sitting too long, I take 10 minutes and stretch. I know that the office is not the perfect place to practice bridge or wheel but I’m sure that you can do some stretching exercises even in front of your colleagues without risking of looking too much of a weirdo! Peace Mike
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