Stand up now.


Credits: Paul Filitchkin via Pexels // Creative Commons

Sitting is part of our lives. Most of us sit down countless times each day, no matter where or when. It is somewhat inevitable as we desire to take a rest and do whatever we need to do while we are sitting down. We sit down when we study, do homework, write essays, and use Facebook.


Unfortunately, this oft-used position causes some health problems. Scientists have suggested that after one hour of sitting, the production of enzymes that eliminate fats decline by 90 percent and that it slows the body’s metabolism of glucose and lowers the production of HDL cholesterol in the blood. Altogether, these conditions increase the risk of heart diseases and Type 2 diabetes.


According to Murat Dalkilinç’s TED-ED video, human bodies are designed to move. Over 360 joints and about 700 skeletal muscles exist in our bodies and enable flexible movements, helping us stand up against the gravity. Blood, fluid, skin, and even nerve systems change accordingly when we move.


The actual problem is that we compress our muscles and do not move when we sit. For instance, joints, muscles, and ligaments are attached to the spine and backbone. When we sit, the backbone usually is curved, putting uneven pressure on our bodies. If this position lasts for a long time, we put strain on muscles that stretch to accommodate to our back’s curved bones. In a similar vein, the muscles attached to our legs are compressed and pressurized, causing nerve signals to be numb. Also, as mentioned before, the production of lipoprotein lipase, the enzyme that burns fat in the blood capillaries, is temporarily deactivated. Thus, the amount of fat does not normally decline, potentially leading to more diabetes.


Some people might suggest that sitting down is inevitable and a necessary part of our daily activities. But a sobering study demonstrates that sitting for long periods of time might eventually cause heart disease, cancer, diabetes, kidney problems, and liver problems. Ultimately, prolonged sitting habits can increase premature death by 9% each year.


Fortunately, the solution to these problems is simple. According to Leslie Spry, a Medical Director at Dialysis Center of Lincoln, Nebraska, it is important to sit less and stand more. He suggests that we might want to obtain a standing or height-adjustable desk, since we tend to sit for long periods of time when working. Secondly, we should go for more walks. As Dalkilinç’s video explained, our bodies are not designed to be stationary. Walking, according to Dalkilinç, prevents us from harming ourselves. Lastly, Spry urges us to stand. Without question, standing requires more energy than sitting as we need to support our whole bodies against gravity.


We should “just appreciate that bodies are built for motion, not for stillness,”said Dalkilinç. If anybody is sitting right now, stand up.


Source: Huffington Post, New York Times, Youtube