Is sitting the new smoking? Know how prolonged sitting hours can affect your health

Between all the chaos of work and rush, we often forget to indulge in physical workouts and spend time usually in a sitting position.

Updated on Apr 14, 2022 01:41 PM IST  |  286.5K
Here's how sitting affects your health
Is sitting the new smoking? Know how prolonged sitting hours can affect your health?
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Just like smoking harms your body slowly and in plenty of ways, similarly, a sedentary lifestyle can gradually take you towards a series of health concerns. Right from eating, working, socialising or studying, sitting is that basic body posture that we use mostly in our life. Between all the chaos of work and rush, we often forget to indulge in physical workouts and spend time usually in a sitting position. Less energy is used by our body while we sit and that causes major harm to our body. Prolonged sitting can even hurt your heart health and takes you close to a variety of chronic health illnesses including heart diseases, obesity, osteoporosis and many more.

Here’s how sitting for long periods can affect your health.

  • Takes you close to various heart problems

Sitting or lying down for a longer period of time can lead to artery blockage and thus takes you close to various heart diseases including cardiac arrest, and heart failure. A lot of studies have shown that sitting for too long can increase the risk of heart disease by 2 times.

Heart Problems

  • Respiratory Disorders

When we sit, we often don’t pay heed to the posture and that is the major reason for the harm. Sitting in a slouching position increase stress on the diaphragm and if it’s extended for a longer duration it can also decrease the lung capacity, which slowly but surely develops into respiratory disorders.

  • Obesity

Sitting for as much as 8 hours and not indulging in any movement leads to fat accumulation around the body and thus further causes obesity. Sitting and eating for an extended duration can also increase high cholesterol levels and further turn into a lot of health glitches.


  • Reduced Bone Health

Not moving from a fixed place and being in a fixed posture for a long time will start degrading your bone health and make you more prone to various body pains like back pain, neck pain, and pain in the joints. If not treated properly, it can even lead to problems like cervical and osteoporosis.

  • Bad Posture

Bad posture is one of the very basic problems that sitting can cause. A lot of us tend to slouch or completely forget about our posture while working on gadgets or binge-watching for long hours. A habit of such bad posture will harm the overall body parts and can even lead to slouching of the shoulders, and neck, and result in unattractive posture.

  • Mental Disorders

Sitting for more than 8 hours can make the brain passive, and decrease cognition and concentration. It can sometimes cause fears and anxiety, and extremely less motivation to go out. All in all, it is a barrier to mental health and contributes to plenty of mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, over time.

Break the sitting cycle

  • To break this harmful cycle make sure to go for a walk after 2 hours of sitting for at least 15 minutes.

  • Do get up from your set and fill your own water bottle or just go and walk for a few minutes refresh your mind and indulge in body movement.

  • Stretch in between the work to keep your body moving to maintain healthy blood circulation in the body.

  • Say no to slouching.

Break the cycle by walking

Now the question comes, is sitting really the new smoking? Well, the answer is a definite yes! Sitting more than 8 hours on a regular basis can harm you like no other. It can affect the quality of your life and can even decrease life expectancy similar to smoking. Get up and include yourself in body movements to break this pattern! Don’t forget to say goodbye to slouching.

Also Read: 4 Low impact exercises to help you stay fit

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