Sometimes it seems like a constant struggle to manage our weight. As we age, our metabolism naturally dips down into a lower gear, our fat burning capabilities take a nose dive, and we are generally more prone to fat storage and less prone to add lean muscle mass which is excellent at burning fat and calories.
Although it has always been a generally accepted fact of life that too much sitting is not healthy because it promotes weight gain and bad posture, there is now actual data that supports the fact that a chronically sedentary lifestyle actually shortens the lifespan and contributes greatly to the likelihood that you are going to be either overweight or obese.
Why does sitting too much negatively impact your weight?
Aside from the fact that you are not actively burning any calories typically when you are in a sitting position, there is also data that the position itself promotes a massive slowdown of the metabolism.
If you don’t get up at least once every half hour to an hour and stand or walk around, you are actually slowing your metabolism down for hours at a time. This means your body is allowed to collect fat stores more readily and the calories you consume just sit in the body rather than being burned off as energy.
Excess calories mean excess weight accumulation. That’s weight gain 101!
You see, when you are standing – even if you are not walking but just standing in a stationary position, you are still using multiple stabilizing muscles in the legs and the core. This constant stabilization of the body when standing keeps the metabolic torches going in the body.
As soon as you sit down, the switch goes into snooze mode even if you’re only sitting for a half hour to an hour at a time. This is why it is so important to get up as often as possible. Even if you have a desk job, try to just stand at your desk (some workplaces even provide standing desks) for a while instead of sitting the entire day.
I tried it and was shocked at how much more alert I felt that rest of the day. I didn’t feel totally exhausted at the end of my workday like I usually do. All this just from standing – not even walking around for a long time! This goes to show that sitting down is detrimental to your health in many more ways than once though.