How Sitting For Long Periods Affects You

back care advice from a chiropractor stoke on trentAs our busy chiropractic in Stoke on Trent, our chiropractors treat a lot of patients who are dealing with health issues related to a sedentary lifestyle. They often have generalised back pain or neck pain as a result of simply spending too much time in a chair each day.

When these patients arrive at our clinic, we speak to them about the dangers of prolonged sitting. This helps our patients become fully aware of the health implications of a sedentary lifestyle.

If appropriate, we then prescribe a combination of chiropractic treatments, lifestyle adjustments, soft tissue therapy, and exercise to improve their health. Fortunately, these patients tend to respond well to chiropractic treatment, particularly when they apply the lifestyle adjustments we suggest.

To help you become more aware of the dangers of prolonged sitting, this article will share 7 health risks caused by sitting.


Health Risks Associated With Sitting For Prolonged Periods

#1 – Cancer

Researchers have discovered that sedentary behaviour can increase the risk of endometrial, colon, and breast cancer. One study found that older people who were sedentary for at least 7 hours per day had a 22% increased risk of cancer compared to those who were sedentary for less than an hour (1).

Scientists believe that cancer is linked to sedentary activity because of the changes that occur to the body when sitting. Prolonged sitting is linked to chronic inflammation, excess body weight, increased level of sex hormones, and insulin resistance — which can all play a role in the development of cancer (2).


#2 – Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is defined as central obesity (fat surrounding the waist) in combination with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high glucose levels. It is a very common condition affecting an estimated 25% of Adults in Europe. It is estimated that men and women with a sedentary lifestyle have a 73 to 76% increased risk of developing this condition (3).


#3 – Back and neck pain

As mentioned in the introduction, many people will visit our chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent with back or neck pain caused by prolonged sitting. These issues occur for multiple reasons:

  • The spine is compressed while sitting, which places more stress on intervertebral discs, muscles, and joints
  • Poor posture is more likely in people who spend a lot of time sitting, which leads to back and neck pain
  • Obesity is more likely in people who sit a lot, which places more strain on the body
  • A sedentary lifestyle can weaken muscles, particularly in the neck, abdominal region, and lower back. This leads to more strain being placed on the back and neck.


#4 – Cardiovascular Health

Prolonged sitting can have an extreme impact on your cardiovascular health. It can increase blood pressure, interfere with vascular function, and increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis. People who spend a lot of time sitting have a much greater risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.


#5 – Weight Gain

There is a clear link between sedentary behaviour and higher levels of organ fat, which can be quite dangerous for a person’s health. People who spend a lot of time in a chair also tend to have a larger waist circumference and lower BMI scores. In other words, if you want to lose a few pounds, get out of the chair and become more active.


#6 – Muscle Degeneration

Some of the patients who visit our chiropractic clinic in stoke on Trent for the first time will present with muscular imbalances. These imbalances can affect their gait and posture, as well as place excessive strain on certain muscles and joints.

In many cases, these imbalances have been caused by a sedentary lifestyle leading to  muscle degeneration. This can affect a person’s mobility and make it harder to perform simple physical tasks.


#7 – Osteoporosis

Prolonged sitting has been shown to negatively impact bone mineral density. This makes the bones weaker and more likely to fracture (4). Sedentary lifestyles have also been linked to osteoporosis as good bone health requires weight bearing exercises like running, walking, and lifting weights (the opposite of sitting).


Visiting Our Stoke Chiropractors at City Chiropractic Clinic

As you can see, there are quite a few health issues relating to prolonged sitting. To avoid these problems, you need to be proactive about your health.

Visiting our chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent is a great way to get started, as our experienced team of chiropractors can assess your musculoskeletal health, recommend chiropractic treatments, and help you develop a lifestyle plan which makes you more active and healthier overall.

If you suspect you have back or neck pain as a result of sedentary behaviour, why not book a visit with one of our team at City Chiropractic Clinic in Stoke on Trent.

To book an appointment call our clinic on 01782 848 184 or book your appointment online at our website here.




  1. Thorp, A.A., Owen, N., Neuhaus, M. & Dunstan, D.W. (2011). Sedentary behaviors and subsequent health outcomes in adults a systematic review of longitudinal studies, 1996–2011. Am J Prev Med, 41, 207–215.
  2. Lynch, B.M. (2010). Sedentary behavior and cancer: a systematic review of the literature and proposed biological mechanisms. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 19, 2691–2709.
  3. Greer, A.E., Sui, X., Maslow, A.L., Greer, B.K. & Blair, S.N. (2015). The effects of sedentary behavior on metabolic syndrome independent of physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness. J Phys Act Health, 12, 68-73, doi: 10.1123/jpah.2013-0186.
  4. Chastin SFM, Mandrichenko O, Helbostadt JL, et al. Associations between objectively-measured sedentary behaviour and physical activity with bone mineral density in adults and older adults, the NHANES study. Bone 2014;64:254-62.