All right; we get it, sitting is bad for us! This fact might particularly strike home for those of you, like myself, who sit at a desk for most of the day typing away at a computer. However, have you ever taken the time to research what happens, physically, to our bodies when we sit for extended periods of time?
Well I did, and I was somewhat shocked to discover that the very real and severe effects of sitting reverberate in health issues from top (head) to bottom (toe). Here are eight serious health problems that result from a habitually sedentary lifestyle according to expert research…
1. Brain Drain
According to studies from the National Cancer Institute, extended periods of sitting, for example working at a desk with no breaks, decreases our brain function and destroys the brain’s vascular network. This “brain fog” results due to decreased fresh blood and oxygen flow to the brain. When we’re active, blood and oxygen pump through the brain stimulating the discharge of mood-enhancing chemicals and hundreds of protective genes, in a process known as Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (or BDNF).
The BDNF process is essential for fresh brain neuron growth and protection (i.e., damage from trauma, stress, and environmental toxins). However, when we’re sedentary, fresh blood and oxygen flow is limited, positive chemical release is stalled, and the brain becomes confused, forgetful, and unable to focus as clearly.