If your friend calls you a couch potato often, then your friend is scorning the amount of time you spend lying on the couch while watching television. We all like to spend too much time by sitting in front of a television or a computer; either at home or work. The longer the periods that we spend by being a couch potato, the more detrimental it is to our health.
The health risks of being a couch potato double up when there is less exercise in the body, while we are sitting for a longer period of time, and the consequences are alarming. The preadipocyte cells, which are fat cell precursors, turn into fat cells more quickly and create even more fat when you lie down or sit down.
The longer periods that we spend while sitting or resting horizontally are referred to as the times of mechanical stretching loads. And this causes inactiveness in the body, which leads to producing more fat in your fat cells that become larger and less efficient. This puts a pressure on your body's cells, which causes fat cells to spread out and grow bigger.
It is also found that people who reportedly spend two hours or more per day in front of the television had twice the risk of a heart attack or a cardiac arrest.
The risk doubles when you watch two or more hours of television per day. Many of our jobs have become more sedentary, with prolonged working hours sitting at a desk, which are the major causes of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
So, read on to know more about the 10 health risks of being a couch potato.
1. Sitting Burns Less Calories
While sitting, the calorie burning rate drops to 1 calorie per minute, which means that if you sit for an hour, you have burned 60 calories less than standing. When you are standing, you can burn 300 more calories each day. Burning of fewer calories makes you more likely to gain weight.
2. Losing Muscle Strength
While sitting, your muscle weakens, as electrical activity within the muscles diminishes. If you are sitting or lying for a whole day, there is a 40 percent reduction in glucose uptake in insulin, which can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes.
3. You Tend To Gain Weight Faster
You gain weight faster, as your cells become fattier. The body increases in LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), insulin resistance and plasma triglycerides, which means your body begins to produce more insulin because your body no longer accepts your insulin that stresses the pancreas and liver.
4. It Can Cause Cancer
The overall risk of prostate or breast cancer increases by 30 percent and a 32 percent risk for endometrial cancer. Sitting for two hours each day increased the risk of colon cancer to 8 percent, as noted in a study. Also, people who spend the most time in watching television had a 54 percent risk of colon cancer and a 66 percent risk of endometrial cancer, compared to those who spend the least amount of time sitting in front of a television.
5. The Bones Tend To Get Weaker
The bones may get weaker and lose some mineral content due to sitting. Anything that can get you going on your feet and moving has been proven to be beneficial for the bones. If you do not get enough physical exercise, the higher are the chances of brittle bones.
6. Causes Heart Disease
Couch potatoes have an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes when they spend hours watching television. People are 80 percent more likely to die of heart and artery diseases. Sitting at an office desk or in front of a computer, posed similar risks, leading to an unhealthy influence on their blood sugar and blood fats.
7. Memory Loss
Couch potatoes can have a drastic effect on their memory and attention span. People who have been sitting or lying for a longer period of time have been reported to become increasingly disoriented and lacking in concentration. People can forget instructions and minute facts and are often found procrastinating a lot.
8. Weak Immune System
If you are a couch potato, your immune system may not work as well. If you do not get enough exercise, your immune system may get weaker and stop functioning properly. Exercise boosts the immune system by strengthening the cells in the body that prevents bacteria and viruses from attacking the body.
9. Causes Hormonal Imbalance
Couch potatoes who are unable to fall asleep or having a poor sleep quality is actually one of the causes of hormonal imbalance. Hormonal imbalance includes hot flashes, joint pain, irregular periods, overeating, excessive stress, frequent sickness, mood swings, among others.
10. Poor Blood Circulation
When you are sitting for longer hours without moving, then the body is incapable of efficiently carrying the blood to your feet, which leads to blockage in the arteries. You might feel numbness or painful cramping in your legs, which can also lead to blood clots.
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