We speak about the dangers of sitting

Do you sit in the car on the way to the train station? Do you have an office job that requires 8-9 hours of sitting each day? Do you go out for lunch during work hours and sit as well? Do you catch public transport home and sit down the whole way? Do you go home and sit in front of the TV for a few hours before you sleep?

The ABS estimated 10.4 million people aged 18 years and over (or 61% of adults) worked in a job or business. These workers spent an average of just over 16 hours sitting at work.

Lets look at a few things that happen physiologically when we are sitting down:


  • Blood flows slower and muscles burn less fat, which makes it easier for fatty acids to clog your heart. Investigations published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, for instance, showed that women who sit for 10 or more hours a day may have a significantly greater risk of developing heart disease than those who sit for five hours or less
  • Your body’s ability to respond to insulin is affected by just one day of excess sitting, which leads your pancreas to produce increased amounts of insulin, and this may lead to diabetes.


Research has shown that those who sat for the longest periods of time were twice as likely to have diabetes or heart disease, compared to those who sat the least. Sitting for more than eight hours a day has also been associated with a 90%  increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

  • Do you experience brain fogs during the day? Our brain thrives on movement, your brain function slows down when we are sedentary meaning that it needs fresh blood and oxygen
  • Your hips also suffer from prolonged sitting, becoming tight and limited in range of motion because they are rarely extended. In the elderly population, decreased hip mobility is a leading cause of falls. If your lower back or knees start to hurt check in with your hips.
  • Your Psoas is a wonderful muscle that sits deep into your body and attaches to the spine and your leg, once this muscle becomes tight and weak, you are more prone to injury because it is unstable.
  • Sitting also does nothing for your glutes, it may become weakened and de-conditioned affecting your stability and power of your stride when walking and jumping.


What can you do to stand up more?

  • Get up and move around every hour at work, walk to your colleges and tell them what you need to instead of writing an email
  • Print out your paperwork at the furthest printer at work, and walk to furthest bin
  • Use stairs instead of elevators
  • Go for lunch outside of the office with fresh air
  • Organize the layout of your office space in such a way that you have to stand up to reach oft-used files, the telephone, or your printer, rather than having everything within easy reach
  • If your workplace is open for standing workstations integrate them into the workplace
  • Set a timer to get you to start moving every hour.
  • Park your car further away from the entrance of your work place
  • Take a longer route back to your work station


For a personalised exercise program designed to help you achieve your goals, contact your local accredited exercise physiologist.