Join the dots: sitting and your health

Updated: Jun 9, 2021

Did you know? “If you’ve been sitting for an hour, you’ve been sitting for too long.” – James Levine, co-director of Obesity Solutions, Mayoclinc

Idle muscle cells release lower amounts of lipase, an enzyme that’s important for eliminating fats from your bloodstream.


Your body was built for motion, not for stillness. And you don’t have to run a marathon every day to reap the benefits of physical activity. Beneficial changes occur to your body within 90 seconds of getting out of your seat.


Here are a few things that happen to your body when you sit for too long:

  1. Weak legs and glutes: By sitting all day, you’re not using your lower body muscles. This leads to weakening and without strong leg and glute muscles to stabilise you, your body is at risk of injury.

  2. Tight hips and a bad back: Sitting causes your hip flexors to shorten, and your seated position can also hurt your back, particularly if you have bad posture. Also, poor posture while sitting can cause compression on the discs in your spine and can lead to premature degeneration, which results in chronic pain.

  3. Stiff shoulders and neck: Hunched over looking at a computer screen all day? This places extra pressure and strain on your neck and shoulder muscles.

  4. Weight gain: moving regularly helps your body digest the fats and sugars you eat. If you spend a lot of time sitting at your desk, in your truck, in your car etc then the way your body digests food is not as efficient. As a result, you retain those fats and sugars as excess body weight.

  5. Mental health impact: while the research in this space is still developing, we do know that people who sit more are experiencing more depression and anxiety than those who are more active.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s also links to cancer, heart disease, diabetes and blood clots.


Switch it up and see results.

Research published in the European Heart Journal showed that swapping two hours of sitting a day with two hours of standing led to:

  • 11% lower triglycerides (reducing diabetes risk)

  • 6% lower total/HDL-cholesterol ratio (reducing heart disease risk)

When two hours of sitting a day was swapped with two hours of stepping (aka walking), it led to:

  • 11% lower body mass index (BMI) (reducing injury risk)

  • 7.5 cm (about 3 inches) lower waist circumference

  • 14% lower triglycerides

Learn more and educate your workforce by booking a workshop or webinar on this topic today! Simply email [email protected] to find out more.