Sitting and Heart Disease: What Happens in People Who Sit for a Prolonged Period?
There are several other physiologic events that can be observed when people sit for a prolonged period of time:
Decreased Caloric Expenditure
During prolonged periods of sitting, the human body typically spends very little amounts of energy.
Simply walking or standing can increase the energy expenditure by as little as 10% to as high as 100%.
Diabetes and Obesity
Studies have shown that for every 2-hour increment of sitting at work, there is:
- A 5% increased risk of developing obesity
- A 7% increased risk of developing diabetes
This is true even when the said individual participates in physical activity or not.
Increased cholesterol levels due to a reduced production of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) while sitting
LPL is an enzyme that is involved in the regulation of fatty tissues, triglycerides, and cholesterol
This is why even patients with reduced LPL who find time to do adequate physical activity are still at risk for developing heart disease.
Increased risk for developing thromboses
Due to the inactivity of the lower extremity skeletal muscles, there may be vascular stasis in the legs. This may lead to thrombosis (blood clot formation) which may separate from the vessel walls leading to an emboli (loose blood clot)
The development of emboli is associated with the development of stroke.