Stand Up For Yourself Against the Dangers of Sitting

Extended periods of sitting down have proved consequential as modern society over-utilizes the chair. Drawbacks can be dangerous. Consequences can be prevented or reversed with a lifestyle that includes additional movement.

Previously a luxury for the wealthy and powerful, lounging in a chair has been over-used to perilousness.

The design of the human body is to stand. The heart, cardiovascular, and bowel systems work more efficiently standing. Physically active people experience higher energy levels, improved endurance, and better overall health.

Fortunately, there are actionable steps to prevent or reverse the damage.


Sitting down was a welcome respite after a long day of toiling in the fields, shops, or bustling homestead. Most plebians sat on the ground, while the more affluent had stools. Chairs with backs and armrests belonged to the elite. Royalty has always utilized cushy and ornate thrones to demonstrate their position over commoners. Likewise, political and military leaders at government meetings in ancient Rome were allowed chairs when attending civilians were not.

Egyptians receive credit for inventing the first —not using a stump or stone— as far back as 2680 B.C., giving it four legs and a backrest. Since then, chairs have become widespread throughout the Western world, from the Romans and Greeks onward. The Renaissance saw an increase in popularity for people of all statuses, affordability willing.

They have evolved from simple wooden pieces, changing to reflect fashion. They have become stylish and ergonomic. Crafted from metal, plastic, leather, upholstery, wicker —even concrete, they hang, fold, recline, spin, roll, and massage.

Whatever their design, material, or craftsmanship, chairs all provide the necessary rest.


Humans now spend too much time on their rears, slouched over a screen. While comfortable, this relaxing activity delivers negative results.


Numerous studies suggest that too much sitting increases the possibility of diseases. Lung, uterine, and colon cancer rates are higher, although the exact reasons are unclear. The chance of heart disease or stroke is 147% higher. Diabetes risk is 112% higher, triggered by increased insulin resistance or high blood sugar. Osteoporosis, an ailment that weakens bones, is also more frequent.

Weight Gain

A slowed metabolism —thought to stem from long periods of being seated— results in the inability to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure and break down fat. As lack of movement fails to burn enough daily calories, these combined factors prompt weight gain.

6 Hidden Dangers of Sitting, weight gain

Blood Clots

Varicose veins, or their slightly smaller cousin, spider veins, originate when blood pools in the legs from inadequate lack of motion. While unsightly but unharmful, rare cases lead to blood clots. Clots produce pain, swelling, and bruising around the inhabited area. Clotting is normal, but medical intervention is required if it does not dissolve.

Swollen Lymph Nodes

The lymphatic system, a vital component of the immune system, is responsible for balancing fluids in the blood. If lymphatic fluids pool, toxins accumulate, which reduces the function of cells and creates blockages and swelling. Known as lymphatic edema, it potentially prompts metabolic and infectious complications and can be fatal.
Muscle and Joint Pain

Sitting too often leads to postural misalignment, weakened core stabilizers, and muscle fatigue or atrophy. The slouching or hunching that accompanies extended periods compresses the discs in the spine, reducing flexibility, prematurely degenerating the discs, and causing chronic pain. Jointly, the shoulders and neck lose mobility and become stiff. Without sufficient movement, hip flexors —the muscles at the top of the thigh that allow for walking and bending— shorten and tighten, putting the flexors at risk of tearing. Lack of adequate motion causes lower legs and feet to become sore, tired, and achy.

Sore Testes

For gentlemen, tight hip muscles pull on the groin, generating pain in the testes. Nerves branching off the spine supply the testicles and back, so lower back pain may spread to the testicles.

Anxiety and Depression

Chronic sitters often display anxiety and depression, markers of poor health. A vicious cycle of too much screen time interferes with the circadian rhythm, interrupting the desired amount and quality of sleep, leading to anxiety, where the cycle repeats.


Relief and recovery are doable with minimal effort.

2. Adopt a more lively lifestyle by incorporating 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly (about 20 minutes daily). This exercise could be running, swimming, dancing, martial arts, weight lifting, or indoor rock climbing.

3. The lymphatic system requires breathing and muscle movement to remove waste, meaning that a person is their pump. On top of burning calories and increasing muscle strength and joint flexibility, motion keeps a body running cleanly and efficiently.

4. Seamlessly integrate extra movement into daily regimes. Incorporate yoga or Pilates into a morning routine, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and visit a nearby park to eat lunch. Park the car further away in the lot, or get off the bus a couple of stops early. Substitute walking or cycling for motorized transport completely.

5. The office has plenty of opportunities for active recovery. Walk around or perform squats and lunges during phone calls. Move the garbage and recycling bins away from your desk to take a few extra steps each time. Instead of sending an email to a colleague, chat at their workstation. Take a break to move and stretch every 30 minutes, regardless.

6. Ensure any desk and chair are ergonomic and at the correct height to provide maximum support and minimize damage. Some workers utilize stand-to-sit desks, standing on a plush rubber mat. Some energetic people make use of a treadmill desk.

7. Invest in medical-quality blue-light glasses to relieve stress from computer and phone screens. Available from any local optometrist, they filter out the blue light emitted by electronics, allowing a circadian cycle to remain aligned, permitting a restful night’s sleep.

8. Build more action into days at home. Perform bodyweight exercises such as crunches or push-ups during commercial breaks on television. When putting away groceries or toys, make numerous smaller trips instead of one big one. Swap the traditional paper book for audiobooks and listen while jogging, cleaning, or gardening. Men benefit from Pilates or other core work, as opening and strengthening the pelvic floor relieves testicular pain.

Begin a Healthy Lifestyle Today Incorporating The Mind, BODY and Soul

It is possible to rectify injury induced by the unassuming act of sitting down. Pursue an enjoyable sport, sneak in extra steps regularly, and undo or prevent repercussions.

Accept the challenge to commit to a new and healthier lifestyle. Add more activity to each day, reverse damages, and take the best care —or chair.

Along with healing your body, thinking about the mind and soul is vital. All three together can make a massive difference in how you feel and recover. Let’s talk and find the best solution to help your entirely. I am Febe Sieb at the Tierra Wellness Center, and I look forward to helping you heal, recover and stay well.