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Do you sit in one place for long hours? Prolonged sitting can cause several health concerns

Prolonged sitting poses significant risks to overall health. Thus, it is essential to know about the health issues caused by prolonged sitting and addressing those issues on time can help one lead a happy and healthy life.

Written By: Kristina Das @ New Delhi Updated on: June 21, 2024 7:45 IST
Prolonged sitting can cause several health concerns
Image Source : FREEPIK Prolonged sitting can cause several health concerns.

Prolonged sitting has emerged as a significant health concern, and recent research suggests it could be linked to the development of new neurological disorders. Sedentary lifestyles, characterised by extended periods of inactivity, have been correlated with various adverse health outcomes, including cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and diabetes. However, the potential neurological impacts of prolonged sitting are gaining increasing attention.

Health issues due to prolonged sitting

When we spoke to Dr Vinit Banga, Associate Director -Neurology, BLK Max Hospital, regarding the same, he said, that one of the primary mechanisms through which prolonged sitting may affect neurological health is through reduced blood flow. Extended periods of sitting can lead to poor circulation, particularly in the lower extremities, which in turn can reduce blood flow to the brain. Adequate cerebral blood flow is crucial for maintaining cognitive functions and overall brain health. Insufficient blood supply can impair cognitive functions, contribute to brain atrophy, and increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Moreover, prolonged sitting is associated with increased inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which are detrimental to neural health. Chronic inflammation can damage brain cells and is linked to the development of conditions such as multiple sclerosis and other inflammatory neurological disorders. Oxidative stress, resulting from an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body, can also lead to neuronal damage and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases.

Additionally, prolonged sitting is often accompanied by poor posture, which can cause musculoskeletal strain and discomfort. Poor posture can lead to tension headaches and other symptoms related to nerve compression. Over time, this can result in chronic pain conditions and other neurological issues, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and sciatica.

The sedentary lifestyle associated with prolonged sitting can lead to psychological effects. Lack of physical activity is a known risk factor for depression and anxiety. Physical movement is essential for the release of endorphins and other neurotransmitters that promote mental well-being. Therefore, the absence of regular movement can negatively affect mood and cognitive function, potentially leading to mental health disorders.

In conclusion, prolonged sitting poses significant risks to neurological health through multiple pathways, including reduced blood flow, increased inflammation and oxidative stress, poor posture, and psychological impacts. Addressing these risks through lifestyle changes, such as incorporating regular physical activity and ensuring proper ergonomics, is essential for maintaining neurological health.

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