What sitting down all day does to your body

Our bodies have been designed for movement, not sitting down. Yet increasingly more and more people are sitting down all day.

Our bodies are made up of 360 joints and over 700 muscles. Our vascular and nervous systems depend on movement to function. A recent Huffington post article investigated what prolonged periods of sitting down do to our bodies.

Back and Shoulders

The average person is not able to sit down for more than three minutes before falling into a slouched posture. This creates wear and tear in your disks and joints, overworks the spinal ligaments and puts an enormous strain on your back muscles.

When sitting near a computer, it is natural to hold your neck forward while concentrating, which causes strain to the neck and hips.

Legs and Hips

Sitting down for long periods is bad for the legs, as it causes the muscles to weaken or waste away. It can also cause the hip flexor muscles to shorten, leading to issues with hip joints. Sitting for long periods of time also leads to poor circulation.

Heart and Cardiovascular System

Humans aren’t built for sitting down. Our heart and cardiovascular systems work best when we are standing up. Being seated for long periods of time may cause an increase in cardiovascular disease among adults.


Sitting for long periods also reduces the amount of oxygen entering the body. While seated, your lungs are compressed, limiting the amount of oxygen that can fill the lungs.


Sitting down can limit the fresh blood and oxygen going to the brain, which can decrease the levels of feel good hormones, endorphin’s and slow brain function.

Digestive System

When you sit, your abdomen can be compressed. This can slow down digestion and lead to issues including heartburn, bloating and constipation.

Sitting down can cause your abdomen to compress, which slows down digestion. This can lead to issues such as bloating, heartburn and constipation.


It is possible to add movement into your day to counteract the amount of time you spend sitting. Think of some simple ways to get moving throughout the day. This could include

  • Standing up while talking on the phone
  • Hold walking meetings
  • Set a reminder to walk around every 30 minutes
  • Improve your seating posture
  • Invest in a standing desk

If you believe you are suffering from problems caused by sitting too long (e.g. a bad back, shoulder and neck problems) a chiropractor may be able to help. Contact Mornington Chiropractic today.

Read the full Huffington Post Article here.

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