Sitting down is bad for you. Like, really bad for you. Chances are you’re reading this right now while sitting down, and if so, stand up! That’s right – read this article standing up. By the end of it, you’ll most like be wanting to anyway.
A Brief Background on the Human Body
As far as the genes in your body are concerned, you’re still in the year 200,000 BC. Very little has changed anatomically between the prehistoric humans of that time and those of today, besides slight variances in features and skin color.
For the overwhelming majority of human existence, we lived as hunter-gatherers. The former part of this required lots of running, and the latter demanded long hours of walking. Either way, you had to be on your feet for the majority of your day if you wanted to survive.
If you take a look at yourself now, you can see how the human body evolved for long distance running and walking; long legs and an upright frame combined with stride-strengthening swinging arms make for efficient forward locomotion. We are a marvel of prehistoric evolution
Enter the Modern Age
The overwhelming majority of human societies have evolved far beyond the days of hunter-gathering, past the pyramids and over the Brooklyn Bridge into an industrialized era where most manual labor is mechanized. Instead of making a living on our feet, we do it on our seat.
The cubicle is not our natural habitat, nor is the car or the dinner table or even the couch – relatively speaking. We are not meant to be sitters and, in fact, it was only recently that the chair as we know it today was used for anything other than royal or religious ceremony.
By this point you can guess what happens to the human body after hours of sitting every day, day after day, week after week, year after year. Maybe you’re even already standing up. Either way, the evidence so far indicates that this much sitting slows down the circulation of an enzyme that processes fat and cholesterol.
This in turn leads to obesity, which leads to an assortment of deadly diseases and disorders. As anyone who’s ever read through diabetes articles can tell you, more fat puts you at increased risk of type II diabetes. In addition, obesity leads to increased risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as the development of some cancers.
It all makes sense when you consider our origins. We’re natural runners and walkers. Our bodies aren’t designed for sitting at a desk, in a car, or on the couch for the majority of our lives. You have to get out there and get active, and avoid sitting down at all costs. This may seem like a major life adjustment, but it is you who must learn to adjust to your body, not the other way around. After all, the blueprints for its existence have been around a lot longer than you have.