Jan 1

Is Sitting the New Smoking?

With the steady rise of digital technology, sitting has become the most common posture in the workplace. Most desk workers spend an average of 10 hours a day sitting in front of a computer, which leaves very little opportunity for physical activity throughout the day. Sitting can be extremely detrimental to your health – even more than smoking, as some would claim. The following are some of the issues you may experience as a direct side effect of sitting too much.

  1. Weight Gain– Too much sitting has been shown to decrease lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity, which can have a negative impact on the body’s ability to burn fat.This leads to increased fat stored and encourages the use of carbohydrates(instead of fat) for fuel, and as a result, the body will continue to gain fat even while consuming a low-calorie diet.
  2. Poor Blood Circulation– Prolonged sitting time can slowdown your circulation and cause blood to pool in the legs and feet which can lead to varicose veins, swollen ankles, or even dangerous blood clots like deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
  3. Heart Disease – Excessive sitting is directly reflected to elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. All of these factors highly increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  4. Weakened Muscles – Sitting all day loosens and weakens the muscles in the body, particularly those in the mid-section and lower body. Without strong legs and glutes, our lower body becomes unable to hold us up when sitting down or keep us stable when walking and jumping,putting us at risk of injury.  Weak muscles (especially abdominals), makes us extremely susceptible to back injury(thus back pain).
  5. Posture Problems – Prolonged sitting causes a variety of problems for your neck, shoulders, back, and hips. Your neck and shoulders curve and stiffen,  your spine loses its flexibility as it absorbs pressure, and your pelvis rotates the wrong way, especially if you are not using an ergonomic chair.
  6. Chronic Body Pain – The longer you sit, the more likely you are to experience chronic pain in the areas such as your neck,shoulders, back, hips, and legs. Back pain is considered one of the most common job related disabilities and excessive sitting causing back and/or neck pain is a workers compensation injury.
  7. Anxiety and Depression – Another side effect of prolonged sitting is anxiety and depression. Those who sit all day don’t get to enjoy the health and mood-boosting benefits that come with exercise and staying fit.

Dr. Jeff Mollins, Brooklyn’s premier accident doctor has been treating, diagnosing, and documenting patients injured on the job for 30 years. A job injury due to excessive sitting, is a workers compensation injury. If you sustain any injury due to excessive sitting, see Dr. Mollins immediately. He will diagnose and treat your injury so you may achieve wellness as expeditiously as possible. Please remember, Dr. Mollins and his group of referred medical specialists are certified to treat workers compensation patients. This means you can be treated at no cost and if you are unable to work, you can receive payment for your lost wages. When you return to work (if possible), you can still receive treatment at no cost.