The maladies of long-time sitting

Grabbing a seat while boarding public transport is like winning a lottery. This is apart from knowing that an allotted seat is at the workplace. Sitting for long hours in one place affects health, whether on public transport or at work. A sedentary lifestyle also has its part of disadvantages. Leaving apart public transport, sitting with the same posture at the workplace, constantly staring at the computer/laptop, watching television for long hours, and being hooked to mobile phones have drastically ill effects on health. Also, people driving for long hours are at high risk of developing specific side effects.



Sitting in a place for long may lead to obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, and accumulation of excess body fat around the waist. Chances of having a rise in cholesterol level, cardiovascular complications, atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque in the arteries, impaired blood circulation, and sometimes cancer are the likely symptoms.


Low health risk arises if one sits in one place for less than four hours. Chances of medium risk while sitting for four to eight hours, high risk for eight to eleven hours, and more than eleven hours lead to very high risk. Some studies have suggested the risk of dementia in individuals sitting in one place for more than 11 hours or so. Adding to it, consuming alcohol and eating junk foods while being in one position for long hours invites cardiovascular diseases.


Sitting, also sometimes referred to as the new smoking, has a host of health issues. Chances of mental health risks are also associated with back pain.


Way out

Mobility is the need of the hour. To avoid too much sitting in one place, one should take time to move around after every 30 minutes. Standing while attending phone calls, going in for a standing desk, etc., can positively affect one’s health. Some workplaces have gyms to ensure that their employees remain healthy. Though time may be a constraint, it is advisable to access the treadmill in the office, if there is any, to go and spend some time walking over it. Any form of movement, be it leisurely, helps burn calories, lose weight, and increase energy. Physical activity also helps in muscle mobility.


With the advent of two-wheelers and cars, walking has become less. This is where cycling can be a suitable mode of transport for short commuting.


Undoing health risks

Although technological innovations have made things easier for humankind, they have also made people more lethargic. The time has come to introspect on what harm can be done while sitting in one place for a long time. Until then, it is advisable to offer seats to a fellow passenger after sitting in one place while commuting. Similarly, taking a break of five minutes and going for a brisk walk will keep diseases at bay.




While commuting, have a sit for some time and offer sit to fellow passenger

No need to sit for long hours while commuting

Take breaks every hour to go for a brisk walk

Never sit in one place while working in front of a computer/laptop/mobile

Cycling while commuting to work, if feasible

Avoid traveling in a car as much as possible