9 Reasons Sitting Is (REALLY) Bad for You -- And 1 Thing You Can Do About It

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You're going to want to stand up to read this. No, really. Because you know how you sit to work, read, drive, watch a movie or a kids' baseball game, and eat dinner. It's all turning you into a horrible person. Physically, that is.

According to science-y people -- who apparently stand all day in their labs, looking for ways they can shame and/or devastate people -- the whole sitting thing is killing us. Really.

More From The Stir: 9 Incredible Things Your Body Can Do in Just 30 Minutes

Read on to see why we should all push our couches out the front door. (Then flip them onto their side so we don't sit on them out there, either.)

Would you be more bummed if #5 or #6 happened to you?...Or have they already?


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  • Sitting raises your risk of a heart attack.


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    Sitting at your desk on Monday mornings is hard enough, but here's something that will make you dread it even more. (Sorry about that.) For every hour you spend sitting down, heart calcification increases a whopping 14 percent. Heart calcification refers to the amount of calcium building up in your arteries. Suffice to say, it is Not. Good. As in can-lead-to-heart-disease not good.

  • Sitting helps you pack on the pounds.


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    Ever wonder why you start fidgeting in your chair? Your body's begging you to move already! Apparently, we spend one-half of our waking hours just sitting. And when that happens, our muscles do nada and our metabolic engine grinds to a halt -- making it easier to put on the pounds. Yup, even if you hit the gym every day.

  • It screws with your posture.


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    Remember alll those times your mom scolded you to stand up straight? She was totally onto something. (And before the Internet confirmed it. Such a smart woman.) Sitting compresses your spine, causes you to hunch your shoulders, and turns your abs to mush. So, there's that.

    More from The Stir: Bad Posture Makes You Look Old

  • It's a bummer for your sex life.


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    Considering what sitting does to your body -- keep reading, it gets worse -- no wonder you're not in the mood! But for men, a sedentary lifestyle poses an even bigger prob. (Pun intented.) Sitting reduces erectile function. May we suggest the following PSA? Get Up or You Won't Be Able to Get It Up. It's catchy, at least.

    More From The Stir8 Scientifically Proven Tips for a Better Love Life 

  • And um, it makes your butt bigger.


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    All those squats you endure, toning your glutes for swimsuit season? They're being sabotaged by your couch. According to an Israeli study, the weight you put on your butt while sitting for a long time encourages cells to create twice as much fat as you would standing.

  • Did we mention the varicose veins?


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    And it's not just your butt that's growing bigger. Your veins are, too. When you sit for a long period of time, blood pools in your leg veins, increasing pressure there. Your veins are eventually like, "Stop it already!" and then they get bigger and looser to deal. (A small comfort: standing for long periods of time can cause these grandma veins, too.)

    More from The Stir: Olympic Swimmer Summer Sanders Wants Moms to Stop Ignoring This Painful Health Threat

  • Then there's the increased risk of cancer.


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    For every two hours you spend at your desk or binge-watching The Walking Dead, you raise your risk of colon, lung, and endometrial cancer. Insert your own "Sitting Dead" joke here. (Or just wait until the next slide.)

  • ... Which might explain the shortened life span.


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    You know that expression, "I'll sleep when I'm dead"? Yeah, don't do that. Sleeping is important. "I'll sit when I'm dead" would be better. That's because a huge American Cancer Society study found that sitting shortens your lifespan. You are standing up now, right?

  • The more you sit, the more you KEEP sitting.


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    You know how when you eat a chocolate truffle, your brain shouts at you to walk back into the kitchen -- now -- and get another? Well, sitting is kinda insidious like that, too. According to an Australian study, the more you sit for work, the more you sit when you're not working. Thanks, Brain.

  • But there is SOME good news.


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    Fortunately, "sitting disease" -- a real term, BTW -- can be combated more easily than you would think. According to one recent study, all you need to reduce some health risks is get at least two minutes of movement -- like walking or cleaning, because that's every mom's favorite hobby -- every hour. We can't guarantee your butt will shrink or your veins will shrivel up, but at least you won't be so much of an, ahem, sitting duck.

    More from The Stir: Why I'm Never Sitting In Another Chair Again (and You Won't Either)

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