Special Report

17 Ways Sitting Too Much Is Ruining Your Body

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6. Osteoporosis

A sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis. Research has found that physical activity, especially weight exercises that improve balance and posture, increases growth and mineral content of bones in women throughout their lives. The ideal exercise to keep the bones strong should be dynamic, brief but intermittent, and exceed threshold intensity.

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7. Hip problems

Sitting for too long, as well as keeping your legs crossed for a prolonged period of time, may cause the muscles to tighten, possibly leading to pain at the side of the hips. Musculoskeletal complaints are prevalent in the general population, especially in women, and, according to one study, about 15% of older adults complain of significant hip pain on most days.

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8. Cancer

Spending too much of your time sitting is linked to an increased risk of developing colon, endometrial, and lung cancer, according to a 2014 study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Moreover, the study suggests exercising may not offset the increased risk of prolonged sitting as much as believed.

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9. Depression

A study of about 9,000 women in their 50s found that those who sat for seven hours a day and didn’t exercise were three times more likely to experience depression symptoms than the women who sat for fewer than four hours and engaged in at least the recommended amount of daily physical activity. It’s important to note that this is not necessarily a cause and effect relationship. People who suffer from depression often report low levels of energy and no motivation to exercise. In other words, while sitting too much may be making depression worse, depression is itself a hindrance to getting up and moving around.

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10. Bad posture

It’s difficult to maintain a good posture when you sit for hours at a time. No matter how much we try, we tend to slouch and slump at some point. And before we know it, we slouch when we stand and walk. Slouching and slumping may result in muscle tension and tightness and eventually in back pain. The correct posture resembles a straight line passing through your body from your shoulders to your toes.