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What are the health risks of sitting for long periods of time?

Sitting for long periods of time can harm you in seven ways:
  • Head: Sitting for long periods of time may cause blood clots to form which can travel to the brain and cause a stroke.
  • Neck: Fluid retained in the legs during the day moves to the neck at night and may contribute to sleep apnea. Also, neck muscles can get stressed, leading to pain.
  • Lungs: If you sit most of your day, you may be twice as likely to develop a pulmonary embolism—a blood clot in the lungs.
  • Heart: People who live a sedentary lifestyle are up to twice as likely to develop diabetes and heart disease as those who move frequently.
  • Legs: Fluid can collect in the legs during sitting.
  • Back: Sitting for long periods of time can place a high amount of pressure on the spine. Over time, sitting can result in compression of the spinal disks. Because muscles are tight from pressure, sudden movements can lead to injury.
  • Feet: Sitting for long periods can lead to numbness in the feet caused by poor circulation. It can also cause nerve damage or pressure on nerves when you sit for long periods. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.