Are you a couch potato? Here’s some bad news for you.
Studies have shown that besides the intrinsic lack of physical energy and mindless eating coining the phrase “couch potato”, this extra lazy behavior could actually encourage obesity. Sitting for long hours and watching your favorite TV shows has negative effects on your body from organ damage to problems with your back. Here are 10 ways being a couch potato is detrimental to your health.
1. Heart disease
Your muscles burn less fat when you sit idle for a long time. Blood flows more sluggishly, ultimately allowing the fatty acids to clog your heart.
Moreover, sitting for long periods of time can cause high blood pressure and higher cholesterol. People spending their time inactively are more likely to have cardiovascular diseases than their active counterparts.
2. Colon cancer
Extra sitting time increases chances of getting colon, endometrial and breast cancer, studies have revealed. The reason is that sitting for prolonged periods of time builds up excess sugar and insulin levels which can be detrimental to health.
3. Over-productive pancreas
The pancreas produces insulin, the hormone that carries glucose to cells for energy. But cells in idle muscles don’t respond as readily to insulin as in active muscles. As a result, the pancreas produces an excess of insulin which increases the chances of diabetes and other harmful diseases.
4. Vague brain
When you are in a state of motion, your body is able to drive fresh oxygen and blood through the brain which triggers the release of endorphins, including dopamine and serotonin—the pleasure and happiness receptors.
But idle muscles slow all bodily functions which can damage the brain. With a lack of endorphin produce, there’s a chance that sitting for a long period of time may increase levels of anxiety.
5. Regular pain in shoulders and back
Slumping forward overextends the back and shoulder muscles, especially the trapezius, which connects the shoulder and neck.
6. Stressed neck
If you are sitting for a long time, craning your neck forward strains the cervical vertebrae and this leads to everlasting imbalance.
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7. Limp glutes
Sitting idly will slow the proper functioning of your glutes. Soft glutes will negatively affect your stability and maintenance of a powerful stride.
8. Mushy abs and tight hips
When you slump on a chair, tight back muscles and wimpy abs form a posture-wrecking alliance that affects your spine’s natural arch posture and you could suffer from swayback condition—pain in the lower back.
Couch potatoes rarely extend the hip flexor muscles which cause them to become tight and short which ultimately limits your range of motion.
9. Poor blood circulation to legs
One of the primary symptoms of leg disorders is poor blood circulation that occurs because of fluid retention from idle sitting. Problems range from swollen ankles and varicose veins to dangerous blood clots (deep vein thrombosis).
10. Disk damage & inflexible spine
Being a couch potato means there is a greater risk of developing a lumbar herniated disc. The muscle psoas, is a muscle that travels through the abdominal cavity and, if tightened, pulls the upper lumbar spine forward. This can be harmful as a result because the weight of the upper body is totally on the sitting bones with half of your weight supported along the arch of your spine. Spines that do not move become inflexible and susceptible to damage in mundane activities.
So the detrimental effects of being a couch potato are clear. From organ damage to disk damage & inflexible spine, these above-mentioned evidences are enough for couch potatoes to get up and lead a healthy and active life.
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Katey Marsh is a health consultant at Essay Writing Service firm and a nutritionist in hospital. Many celebrities are leading a healthy and fit life by following her diet plan. If you also want to stay fit, then you can contact her on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.