What Happens to Your Body If You Sit Too Much

Do you ever feel like doing nothing all day, or perhaps, you are trapped in a bad habit of just being lazy. It might not sound good, but indeed you’re not the only one. Most people nowadays spend more time in their homes and turn into couch potatoes, either indulging in the TV, playing video games, or checking the next new trends in social media.

Now more than ever, people are forced to live a more sedentary life at home in fear of catching the invisible threat of the COVID 19. This means that people also halt most of their physical activities when outdoors – except for some people with exercise equipment at home. Without much to do inside our home, we just literally sit there for long periods to kill boredom or do important stuff such as take-home office tasks or attend to online classes.

Sadly, too much of anything is bad, and spending most of our time sitting can also endanger our well-being. You may ask, “How is that even possible when we are literally doing nothing?” Well, ironically, doing nothing is exactly the issue. Studies show that serious problems have a greater chance to develop when we sit too much, to negatively impact our health if left unchecked. These are what happens to our bodies if we sit too much.


It is no surprise that sitting for long durations may cause your buttocks to recede as the pressure that has been built up for that amount of time weakens the leg and gluteal muscles (the muscles in the buttocks), causing them to sag. This can’t be a good thing since you not only lose that plump shape of your muscles, but you also lose the ability to sustain injuries from falls and strains because your muscles are not that strong enough to do their job.


Sitting longer than you should hurt your back, and you somehow know it – when you sit for too long, you tend to bend over backward just to relieve that annoying pain. This could be a serious problem for all you know! Especially if you slouch consistently while sitting, you could develop problems in your spine like disc problems (disc protrusions) that are excruciatingly painful the longer they stay untreated. Also, this can cause you to develop a bad posture when you don’t have one in the first place. If you’re working at home with your computers, get a specifically designed chair and ergonomically designed for the job.


When elderlies tell us not to sit right after eating, they are actually telling us the right routine. The process of digestion requires the use of muscles, especially when digesting fats and sugars. When we sit, we use fewer muscles in our body, making digestion inefficient. This leaves the fat and sugar to stay the same as they are, which then contributes to building more fat in addition to that which is already in our system. Imagine doing this consistently within just a year, and you’ll discover you have gained much weight and excess fat that could be too challenging to reduce. These fats could eventually lead to different diseases.

a girl practicing yoga at home


Due to lack of physical activities when sitting, a person might have trouble with digestion, leading to metabolic syndrome – a collection of seriously bad conditions that team up to destroy the body. Obesity, high blood pressure, high blood triglycerides, low levels of HDL cholesterol, and insulin resistance are all manifestations of this syndrome, and they consequently lead to a greater risk of diabetes, heart diseases, and stroke.

Diabetes Insulin resistance causes us to increase our blood sugar to an abnormal level, leading to a series of complications. When this happens, problems like vision damage, kidney failure, nerve damage, among all other complications, can attack the body.

Heart diseases since sitting for long periods is itself a bad habit, it can also cause heart diseases. When there are low HDL cholesterol levels (good cholesterol) in the body, it has a greater risk of developing cardiovascular diseases that most often lead to death.

Cancer  although there are no strong pieces of evidence yet, scientists discovered a link between sitting and cancer. Studies suggest that some types of cancer, including lung, uterine, and colon cancers, can be directly linked to the bad habit of sitting.

Varicose veins due to gravity, when sitting, the blood naturally pools down on the legs trapping and congesting them in the long run. This may lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or the blood clot forming in the veins of the leg. This is a serious medical emergency since when these blood clots break off and travel through the body, they tend to block other veins and cut off the normal flow.


a lonely, shirtless guy sitting on the floor

Emerging studies opine that when sitting for a very long time, a person’s brain becomes very close to that of a person with dementia. Physical activity is essential not only to our physical health but also to our mental well-being. Since there is little to no activity that happens when we sit, the brain compensates for it by giving us a lot of stuff to think about, and that could cause anxiety and, later, depression. Of course, solitude is fine if we don’t compromise our health and we don’t trade our physical activities for simply sitting or lying in our bed thinking about problems that weren’t there in the first place. We can spend our time alone by running, jogging, having long walks on the beach, or even allocating some time practicing yoga at home – there are many ways to avoid the bad habit of sitting too long.