Cigarette smoking is the least popular it’s been since the federal government started tracking smoking rates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that only 13 percent of American adults smoke cigarettes.
But now two other major public health crises are ascending into the forefront: pain and inactivity. They come from simply doing nothing. Many have experienced pain from sitting too long.
In short, sitting is the new smoking. There was a time when smoking was just part of everyday living. But now it’s commonly known why smoking is a problem. Not as many know why sitting too long is bad for you.
Let’s explore why this is a problem.
What Causes Pain From Sitting Too Long?
The body is always doing something even when a body isn’t moving. Sitting for prolonged periods of time puts a strain on whatever parts of the body are holding you in that position.
From the bottom (pun intended) up, your pelvis bears all the weight above it on the two arches of bone at the bottom of the pelvis. These bones press on the flesh between them and the seat.
The pressure of sitting is also diffused across the pelvis and into the lower back. The spine and muscles in the back and in the belly area hold your body upright.
All of this work comes to a central point in the lower back where the hips and the spine connect. This is what causes the most pain from sitting.
Several nerves pass through this area too. The pressure of sitting can aggravate them as well, causing sciatica. (Find out more about that.)
Sitting also puts pressure on veins and nerves that pass through the legs as well.
Why Is This Problem
Pain is unpleasant but is not the problem. Pain is a symptom. It’s the body telling the brain that something’s wrong.
Underneath the pain from sitting too long is several troubling possible bad health outcomes.
The problem is inactivity. This is true if you don’t feel pain from sitting a long time because of smartly designed chairs or seats.
The Mayo Clinic says an analysis of 13 studies shows that people who sit for eight hours or more a day with no activity had the same risk of death as people who smoke or are obese.
It also increases the risk of death through vascular disease and cancer. All of this from doing nothing.
What Should I Do?
Do something! Mayo Clinic also said that a study of about 1 million adults shows that daily moderate activity can reverse these risks.
The bottom line with sitting too much is that many people simply don’t move enough in their daily life. Most jobs require a lot of sitting. Most people spend their time entertaining themselves while sitting in front of a screen. We travel while seated most of the time.
The answer is doing, moving, being active.
More to Know
Pain from sitting too long is one of those peculiar facts nowadays that represent the world today.
Check out our other articles to get a handle on your next curiosity.