Sitting Risks: How Harmful Is Too Much Sitting?

Sitting Risks: How Harmful Is Too Much Sitting?

Power By Design

Shoulders rounded, head forward, and eyes down.

Remind you of anyone you know?

It’s human nature to assume this Quasimodo-like trend is “no big deal,” but your Grandmother was wise when she told you to “stand up straight!”


New studies are confirming what common sense already tells us… sitting will put you on an unhealthy path.

Even worse, researchers are discovering that while exercise is good for you, it may not mitigate all of the negative effects of sitting for prolonged periods. This is bad news for those who work hard and then play hard as a way to stay healthy.

Still, the worst news is for those who sit and don’t move regularly or exercise. In a 2012 study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, those who watched the most television compared to those who viewed the least had a 61% increased chance of dying earlier (regardless of cause).


There’s no question prolonged sitting increases mechanical stresses on the vertebrae, ligaments, discs, muscles, and other tissues leading to degenerative changes in the spine and a deterioration of posture.

Not only could this lead to an unpleasant aesthetic with the head sitting forward and the upper back humped…it more importantly reflects a significant health problem.

The list of confirmed collateral damage from excessive sitting continues to grow and some of the conditions may even be surprising.

Heart disease, depression, anxiety, sleep disruptions, metabolic syndrome, increased cancer risk, decreased concentration, focus, and even osteoporosis.


The most obvious action step is to stop or at least reduce the amount of sitting (more specifically prolonged sitting) that you are engaging in each week.

Assuming you still need to sit to some degree, here are 3 quick and easy tips to help you get started.

  • Take a break. Walk away from your workstation every 20 minutes. Set a timer on your phone and commit yourself to getting up, walking around and practice some stretching.
  • Sit tall. While sitting, reach your head to the ceiling, keep your ears over your shoulders and your chin tucked in.
  • Break the mold. Try a stand-up workstation or trade your chair for an unstable ball.

If you want to find out if you have a posture problem that may be damaging your health click below to get your Free Self-Assessment Tool.

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Dr. Michael Gibson has committed himself to helping others to live the best life possible. After graduating with a Bachelor of Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario, he received his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree and Masters of Science in Chiropractic Sports Science from Life University. He is the co-creator of Life By Design, owner of The Wellness Group, and co-owner of CrossFit 613. His passion for empowering families runs deep. After experiencing the loss of his sister due to illness, Michael’s purpose became reaching and teaching as many as possible the foundational principles of an extraordinary life. Since that time he has passionately pursued and been successful in living out his dream. He maintains a busy family chiropractic practice, a full speaking schedule and finds time to implement the principles and practices of Life By Design in his own life.