Association of sedentary behavior and modern lifestyle leads us to less physical activity and more sitting. Since we are in the middle of a pandemic, our sitting behavior is at risk now more than ever.
Most of us spend prolonged hours sitting whether we are working or not. This behavior puts us in a dangerous situation. We may develop many health issues such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, Lower back pain, etc.
Is sitting for 8 hours a day bad? Sitting for 8 hours per day with low physical activity is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Sitting for 8 hours per day is considered sedentary behavior that can increase other risks such as hypertension and high blood pressure.
If you are interested in learning what sitting for hours can do to your health, then read on. I will also give you some general tips on how to minimize sedentary behavior.
Sitting Time and Its Risk
According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology long sitting time has a CVD (cardiovascular disease) mortality risk. They have conducted a study and according to that study long hours sitting with low physical activity has a higher risk of CVD mortality.
- 4 h of sitting/day: Less than 4 hr of sitting with high physical activity has the lowest CVD mortality risk. So, if you are highly active means, you are physically active for more than 420 mins per week, and you sit for 4 hr per day, you are more likely to have the lowest risk of CVD. If you are physically inactive, then you are at risk of CVD.
- 4-6 h of sitting/day: Those who sit for 4 -6 hr per day and are highly active have a moderate risk of CVD. The risk increases if you are inactive or less physically active.
- 6-8 h of sitting /day: If you are highly active, then 6-8 h of sitting tends to point toward increased CVD mortality risk. However, it did not reach statistical significance.
- More than 8 h of sitting/day: Moderate physical activity to physically inactive has the significant risk of CVD who sits for 8 hr per day. However, those who are highly active have less risk.
Our sedentary behavior has the risk of CVD mortality rate. Although high physical activity minimizes these issues, the risk remains. Due to this corona pandemic, we are at this risk now more than ever.
However, other studies are trying to minimize this risk by replacing the sitting behavior with standing and other physical activity.
Minimizing the Sedentary Behavior
According to a recent study, adults spend on average 55% to 70% of their waking hours (or >8–10 hours/day) engaged in sedentary behaviors. That includes most of the time we spent on prolonged sitting.
This sedentary behavior is the reason behind weight gain, hypertension, Increased BP, Cardiovascular diseases, etc.
Following tips can help minimize this sedentary behavior:
- Taking a break in a prolonged sitting might be within 30 minutes of sitting, increases blood circulation, and decreases blood pressure. You can interrupt the sitting by regular 2-3 minutes walking breaks or by frequent 3-minute simple resistance activity breaks (half squats, calf raises, gluteal contractions, and knee raises.
- You can interrupt your prolonged sitting with either light-walking breaks or simple resistance activity breaks. These breaks reduce systolic and diastolic BP. It’s beneficial while you must work for hours to complete your project.
- You can participate in physical activity regularly and it helps reduce the risk of other diseases.
An Ergonomic Chair Can Increase Your Sitting Experience
Our modern work life and desk job is the reason for our all-day sitting behavior. It became our habit to sit even in our leisure time. Prolonged and static sitting have a negative effect on our health. It reduces the nutrition of our intervertebral disc by slowing down the fluid in our disc.
We constantly change our posture when we feel uncomfortable, and it promotes the flow of nutrition to our disc. So, dynamic sitting is encouraged. You can use an ergonomic chair that can help you sit dynamically.
As we sit for 8 hours or more a day everyday for our work or leisure time. An ergonomic office chair can enhance this sitting experience and reduce the risk of lower back pain, bad posture, low blood circulation, etc.
So, using an ergonomic office chair with 2 -3 minutes of break during prolonged sitting can decrease our health risk. Also, moderate to vigorous physical activity is encouraged.
A combination of sitting and standing can minimize the risk and keep us more productive. To learn more about which chair is best suited for you, you can check our article “How to Choose the Right Office Chair for you?“
What does sitting for 8 hours do to your body?
Sitting for 8 hours or more a day with little to no physical activity is considered a significant risk factor to our health.
According to this recent study, Greater amounts of sitting time and a lot of prolonged sitting were associated with waist circumference, body mass index, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, Increases BP, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, etc.
Prolonged sitting with no physical activity can lead to cardiovascular complications. So, taking a walking break or resistance exercise within long hours of sitting is highly encouraged that can help you reduce the risk.
How long is too long for sitting?
Sitting less than 4 hours with moderate to high physical activity has the lowest CVD mortality risk. According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, sitting more than 8 hours with no physical activity has the highest CVD mortality risk.
So, sitting more than 8 hours per day can be considered too long for sitting.
Is it bad to sit for 10 hours?
Sitting more than 8 hours with no physical activity has the highest health risk. Even if you are moderate to high physically active, you can be at risk of health risk if you sit for more than 8 hours. So, sitting for 10 hours per day is bad, and you should not habitually sit for 10 hours every day.
How many hours a day should you sit?
According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, you should sit less than 4 hours per day. If you are moderate to highly physically active, you can still sit for 6-8 hour or more than 8 hours but the risk remains. However, sitting less than 4 hours has the lowest CVD mortality risk.
Does sitting make you fat?
Habitual physical inactivity and a lot of prolonged sitting can lead to weight gain, muscle atrophy, hypertension etc. Your diet is a significant factor of gaining weight. However, sitting for a long time and physical inactivity is a possibility of making you fat.
Is it bad to sit in front of a computer all day?
Sitting in front of a computer all day can put us at significant risk of developing high blood pressure, hypertension, CVD, and many other issues. So, sitting all day in front of a computer with little to no physical activity can be bad for your health.
Before you go
As I have mentioned above, little to no physical activity and high volumes of prolonged sitting are significant risk factors for many diseases. However, to get our job done, there might not be any way to sit for a long time.
Prolonged sitting in a wrong posture can lead to many issues such as knee pain, back pain, neck or shoulder pain. If you are having knee pain by sitting for long hours you can check our article “Best Office Chairs for Knee Pain”.
You can make your sitting experience better by using a reclining office chair. This chair might help you relieve your work stress and reduce back issues like back pain. To learn more, you can check our article “Best Office Chair for Reclining”
To conclude, sitting for 8 hours is not recommended and not healthy at all, but our modern working life requires us to sit. So, it would be more beneficial for us to use a dynamic or ergonomic office chair that helps us change our posture dynamically and take a break within 30 minutes of a working session.