A Timeline of the Effects of Being a Couch Potato

Did you know that sitting is a silent killer? No matter if you sit in front of the television set from end to end or in front of your computer from 9 to 5, it has a profound effect on your health and even lifespan! In fact, experts say that parking your behind on a chair or couch for 6 hours per day takes away 7 long years of quality life.

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Certainly, our bodies are not meant for long hours of sitting. Even if you are exercising on a regular basis, it is said that spending a lot of time plopped down can cancel out the benefits of leading an active lifestyle. Fortunately, warding off the negative effects of sitting is easy, and that is by spending most of your waking hours on your feet!

There are many different devastating effects of being seated excessively on your health — ranging anywhere from obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, hypertension to heart disease. Just how quick do these consequences show up? Some of them surface as soon as you sit down, such as a considerable drop in the rate of your metabolism.

Below is a projected timeline of the nasty effects of being a couch potato. You will find that it won’t take a long time for leading a sedentary life to turn your health 180 degrees.

A Day of Sitting:

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  • There’s an increased levels of glucose in the blood. This doesn’t come as a surprise because sitting utilizes very few muscles, thus much of the glucose in your bloodstream remain unused. An increase in the levels of glucose in the blood is not a good thing because it puts you at risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Your metabolic rate slows down. According to the experts, sitting down causes your body to burn fewer calories. Being a couch potato causes your metabolism to burn a measly calorie per minute — that’s approximately just 1/3 of the total number of calories you burn when you’re walking.

A Couple of Weeks After Sitting for 6 Hours a Day:

  • Unused muscles atrophy or waste away. You will find that performing simple tasks such as walking for a block or climbing a few flights of stairs is harder and leaves you breathless. Even if you exercise on a daily basis, your muscles begin to deteriorate the moment you choose to spend lots of time sitting.
  • Your bad cholesterol levels increase. Leading a sedentary lifestyle can damage your health in a number of ways, such as causing your low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad) cholesterol to soar. You don’t want this to happen because it’s something that can put you at higher risk of hypertension, heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

A Year After Spending 6 Hours on the Couch per Day:

  • You will gain weight. It’s for certain that you and everyone else around you will notice the extra pounds that you have packed. Losing excess weight may be a bit of a challenge because sitting can cause the body to produce unique and stubborn fat cells most especially in the midsection of your body.
  • Up to 1 percent of bone mass is lost. A percent may not sound a lot, but it can quickly add up if you choose to spend most of your waking hours being a couch potato. Osteoporosis is a matter that should not be taken lightly as it leaves your bones soft and brittle, significantly increasing your chances of suffering from fractures.

10 to 20 years After Sitting for 6 Hours Daily:

  • Dying young becomes so likely. Studies have shown that your risk of dying from heart disease is increased by as much as 64 percent when sitting for 6 hours a day for up to a couple of decades? What’s more, it is said that your chances of suffering from breast or prostate cancer is increased by 30 percent.

Now that you know the estimated timeline of the effects of sitting a lot, how do you plan on steering clear of the negative effects of being a couch potato? Share your thoughts below!

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