Why sitting is bad for you – Murat Dalkilinç

By Brian Lemay 100 comments

Right now, you’re probably sitting down
to watch this video and staying seated for a few minutes
to view it is probably okay. But the longer you stay put,
the more agitated your body becomes. It sits there counting down the moments
until you stand up again and take it for a walk. That may sound ridiculous. Our bodies love to sit, right? Not really. Sure, sitting for brief periods
can help us recover from stress or recuperate from exercise. But nowadays, our lifestyles make us sit
much more than we move around, and our bodies simply aren’t built
for such a sedentary existence. In fact, just the opposite is true. The human body is built to move, and you can see evidence of that
in the way it’s structured. Inside us are over 360 joints,
and about 700 skeletal muscles that enable easy, fluid motion. The body’s unique physical structure
gives us the ability to stand up straight against the pull of gravity. Our blood depends on us moving around
to be able to circulate properly. Our nerve cells benefit from movement, and our skin is elastic,
meaning it molds to our motions. So if every inch of the body
is ready and waiting for you to move, what happens when you just don’t? Let’s start with the backbone
of the problem, literally. Your spine is a long structure made of bones and the cartilage discs
that sit between them. Joints, muscles and ligaments
that are attached to the bones hold it all together. A common way of sitting is with a
curved back and slumped shoulders, a position that puts uneven
pressure on your spine. Over time, this causes wear and tear
in your spinal discs, overworks certain ligaments and joints, and puts strain on muscles that stretch to accommodate
your back’s curved position. This hunched shape also shrinks
your chest cavity while you sit, meaning your lungs have less space
to expand into when you breath. That’s a problem because it temporarily
limits the amount of oxygen that fills your lungs
and filters into your blood. Around the skeleton are the muscles,
nerves, arteries and veins that form the body’s soft tissue layers. The very act of sitting squashes,
pressurizes and compresses, and these more delicate tissues
really feel the brunt. Have you ever experienced numbness
and swelling in your limbs when you sit? In areas that are the most compressed, your nerves, arteries and veins
can become blocked, which limits nerve signaling,
causing the numbness, and reduces blood flow in your limbs,
causing them to swell. Sitting for long periods also temporarily
deactivates lipoprotein lipase, a special enzyme in the walls
of blood capillaries that breaks down fats in the blood, so when you sit, you’re not burning fat
nearly as well as when you move around. What effect does all of this stasis
have on the brain? Most of the time,
you probably sit down to use your brain, but ironically, lengthy periods of sitting
actually run counter to this goal. Being stationary reduces blood flow and the amount of oxygen entering
your blood stream through your lungs. Your brain requires both
of those things to remain alert, so your concentration levels
will most likely dip as your brain activity slows. Unfortunately, the ill effects of being
seated don’t only exist in the short term. Recent studies have found
that sitting for long periods is linked with some types of cancers
and heart disease and can contribute to diabetes,
kidney and liver problems. In fact, researchers
have worked out that, worldwide, inactivity causes about
9% of premature deaths a year. That’s over 5 million people. So what seems like such a harmless habit actually has the power
to change our health. But luckily, the solutions to this
mounting threat are simple and intuitive. When you have no choice but to sit, try switching the slouch
for a straighter spine, and when you don’t have
to be bound to your seat, aim to move around much more, perhaps by setting a reminder
to yourself to get up every half hour. But mostly, just appreciate that bodies
are built for motion, not for stillness. In fact, since the video’s almost over,
why not stand up and stretch right now? Treat your body to a walk. It’ll thank you later.


Mary Patton

Aug 8, 2019, 12:28 pm Reply

Sitting is slow suicide. Thinking truck drivers…

Only One MITCH!

Aug 8, 2019, 1:04 pm Reply

Me:(after video)Mom! I can't breathe!
Mom:Sit down honey.
Me:Oka-MOOOM! You trying to KiLL ME?!!!!😱

Typhoon of Ideas

Aug 8, 2019, 1:39 pm Reply

One of your all-time best videos on health and fitness. I even downloaded it to my computer, which I do extremely rarely, so as not to lose it. Great job.

ashish savaliya

Aug 8, 2019, 2:56 pm Reply



Aug 8, 2019, 8:07 pm Reply

SJWs: Slouch shaming!!!
Everyone else: Probably a good wake up call…

Jammy Dodger Dodger

Aug 8, 2019, 9:07 pm Reply

Employers need to get with the program & provide flexible desks that are adjustable into a standing position, &, if sitting is so bad, why are the H& S executive not pressurising employers to sort out their employee's wellbeing???

Ian Macario

Aug 8, 2019, 10:05 pm Reply

the title should be.
how to suicide without knowing it


Sep 9, 2019, 12:16 am Reply

Other than oedemes, veins stasis can also lead to deep thrombosis most often in the calves, yes?

wuli dara

Sep 9, 2019, 12:28 am Reply

This why i love rebahan so much
Hidup rebahan

Kile B

Sep 9, 2019, 1:08 am Reply

Who's sitting down planting a ploppy watching this sitting is bad vid illstand up when I'm done it might get messing if I just stand up about now ! Thanks for the info sorry for giving to much !

phi phi truong

Sep 9, 2019, 3:46 am Reply

I hate sit down.

Tin CL

Sep 9, 2019, 4:28 am Reply

I work in a call center where taking a break is numbered down to the last minute. I’m like tied to my desk just to get my numbers and keep my job. At 29 I had arrhythmia and at 30 spinal stenosis from a bulging disk. My experience with arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) makes even taking 20 steps very hard to breath. I recovered from that but my spine is still killing me. I have been using a brace for 4 months now to keep my mobility and not pinch on my sciatic nerve, but the pain is still there. I want to change my lifestyle but it’s hard when I can’t change my job. What feeds me and my family is what kills me. I wish I have a choice.


Sep 9, 2019, 5:38 am Reply

I literally stood up just before the video ended.

Kingsley XII

Sep 9, 2019, 8:22 am Reply

Everything is bad for you

Dave Libdan

Sep 9, 2019, 11:30 am Reply

That's it! I'm no longer going to sit during my 2 hour long commute!!

Elmin Alić

Sep 9, 2019, 2:21 pm Reply

Who else suddenly felt everything the narrator sait while watching the video?


Sep 9, 2019, 5:07 pm Reply

Sitting on the toilet watching this

kanapuram teja

Sep 9, 2019, 5:24 pm Reply

What about Stephen hawking who lived majority of his life sitting on a chair?…..🤔


Sep 9, 2019, 6:42 pm Reply

Disliked for showing 2 different ads one after other. How cool is that!

A two-faced guy

Sep 9, 2019, 7:23 pm Reply

A very important video, good job!

F De Mascio

Sep 9, 2019, 8:43 pm Reply

How about swapping in a yoga ball vs. a desk chair? Any benefit?

Dennis thefreethinker

Sep 9, 2019, 9:03 pm Reply

90% of our time is spent sitting and laying down. Which is our modern way of life

fkh app

Sep 9, 2019, 10:58 pm Reply

i m one of victim from work sitting. in my neck. lamber..eyes has role also when we move to read from screen…

Radio 4Men

Sep 9, 2019, 11:59 pm Reply

whatever feels good don’t do it.

Mary Nathalie Coming

Sep 9, 2019, 12:03 am Reply

I was lying down my bed while watching this. Wrong for a guess.


Sep 9, 2019, 1:35 am Reply

Your body is made to move? Then you should never lie down and sleep!

Your body is made to be CAPABLE of moving, not to move continuously.

1000 subscribes for comments

Sep 9, 2019, 1:59 am Reply

How many of you watching this in phone (📱) slowly move your posture straight….!!


Sep 9, 2019, 4:53 am Reply

Standing desk at home is great.

Lisa Kuehl

Sep 9, 2019, 5:14 am Reply

I hate sitting. I like either doing stuff or lying down.

Nazz M

Sep 9, 2019, 5:52 am Reply

I work at Costco 8.5 hours a day wearing heavy steel toed shoes so I'm good loll


Sep 9, 2019, 10:33 am Reply

"Moderate " or "balance" is what you need even if you drink excess water will be harmful and same goes to everything if you eat organic healthy fruits in excess you will gain weight excessive running too my take on this video don't listen these craps just be balance maintain healthy lifestyle


Sep 9, 2019, 11:28 am Reply

Well I'm lying down

The Golden Arrow

Sep 9, 2019, 12:15 pm Reply

Next video: The Hidden Risks of Walking

Richard Hruškoci

Sep 9, 2019, 1:51 pm Reply


Akash Kumar

Sep 9, 2019, 2:08 pm Reply

sees title

immediately stands

Raj VN

Sep 9, 2019, 3:25 pm Reply

Eat, sleep, conquer repeat.


Sep 9, 2019, 3:30 pm Reply

what about laying though

Corey Pattison

Sep 9, 2019, 3:45 pm Reply

Great video. However I'm a pretty active taller guy and I find it difficult to see how we can be active 16 hours a day with little rest. I'm not saying that correctly but you get my meaning. I truly believe that's why we died younger. They got it all done early. People are so bored now and want to longer by "living" longer. Are you really living? Sitting isn't living. Living is living. Go outside


Sep 9, 2019, 5:21 pm Reply

I watched this video lying down. Problem solved!

James Adkins

Sep 9, 2019, 5:22 pm Reply

Why watching videos like this is bad for you-

ghost _

Sep 9, 2019, 7:29 pm Reply

Say this to my teacher


Sep 9, 2019, 8:39 pm Reply

Not good for people in wheel chairs and others with an array of physical problems that causes pain when standing or moving around


Sep 9, 2019, 9:09 pm Reply

Yeah. And?

Axel Tayron

Sep 9, 2019, 5:50 am Reply

The hidden risks of F***ING living

Siva Wright

Sep 9, 2019, 6:49 am Reply

Can you provide links to the 'Studies' you mention in the videos?

SimpleOne Stephen

Sep 9, 2019, 8:23 am Reply

This is amazing! Thank you.

Amatullah Ama

Sep 9, 2019, 1:52 pm Reply

"The human body is made to move"

*Starts shaking the whole body like a washing machine while sitting *

Angry Bushnell

Sep 9, 2019, 8:04 pm Reply

13 years of 12+ hours required sitting at my job caused femoroacetabular impingement and beginnings of hip muscle atrophy. One major reason for leaving, since both upper management and HR were unresponsive to suggested fixes, even tho my employer was a major well-respected medical facility.


Sep 9, 2019, 1:54 am Reply

It bothers me how students seat in class on wood/metal chair for a long period. Although I grew up doing the same. At least the people who seat all day in offices have better chairs.

keshav kashyap

Sep 9, 2019, 7:23 am Reply

Why being alive is bad for you

Blair Rich

Sep 9, 2019, 1:21 pm Reply

We need dinosaurs again.


Sep 9, 2019, 3:28 pm Reply

just don't sit in a "?" position

and Sit in a straight position

Aaron E

Sep 9, 2019, 5:04 pm Reply

Soooo the people who think I'm nurs for walking to the store for my shopping should do what I'm doing!! Let's encourage dmfp ri have a seat & take it easy all day!!

Roni Akuffo

Sep 9, 2019, 10:03 pm Reply

" The human body is made to move"
Me: Picks up the desktop and starts shuffling.
*Also me watches effects of standing still in one place for too long
Me: BOLTS outside with the DESKTOP computer


Sep 9, 2019, 11:33 pm Reply

100% of my daily work is walking walking walking non stop the human body is pain in the head with 100% poor design not suitable for the human greed our neither like sitting or over standing!!! 😒 Very annoying

Pito Pito

Sep 9, 2019, 1:31 am Reply


jacqueline schael

Sep 9, 2019, 2:08 am Reply

No. I'm not sitting down watching this video. I'm laying down. I can't sit down for more than 20 minutes or my lower back hurts.

Alpha Male

Sep 9, 2019, 4:33 am Reply

I just realized yesterday i was sitting 6 hours straight with just about 4 quick pee breaks due to lots of works. Time to show this to my boss.

heba elshawarby

Sep 9, 2019, 12:46 pm Reply

Very useful

Joslyn Carter

Sep 9, 2019, 1:18 pm Reply

I have been telling someone I know that the body is designed to move because they lie down all of the time.😔 They complain about backpain. I keep telling them that exercise will help. I don't know what else to say.

Galaxy A9

Sep 9, 2019, 3:50 pm Reply



Sep 9, 2019, 4:11 pm Reply

Why YouTube is bad for EYES.
Sorry but I hate emojis!

Abdel Rahman El kouche

Sep 9, 2019, 4:27 pm Reply

After that i ran 12 marathons

usha singh

Sep 9, 2019, 6:22 pm Reply

I know I was in a three month bed rest because of my work that requires me to sit in the chair for long hours


Sep 9, 2019, 6:42 pm Reply

I have seen video game developers/programmers work standing ! They use a desk that can move up and down easily and can go high enough to be used standing upright ! I was surprised at first, but intrigued. This may interest many who have a hard time keeping their body and mind alert when sitting in front of a computer.


Sep 9, 2019, 7:11 pm Reply

0:24 it really sounds ridiculous…

Basit Khan

Sep 9, 2019, 7:20 pm Reply

Sitting is not the best. But this video states many false facts. Poor video

Leslie A.

Sep 9, 2019, 12:33 am Reply

Glad I walked out of my receptionist job (after two years of b.s). The new office manager didn’t even know how to work the desk yet created all this stress for the front. Don’t regret it they work you to death. My respect to receptionist it’s an intense job be kind to them! A lot of the stress also comes from doctors gossiping more than they handle the workflow!

Nikhat Rubeena

Sep 9, 2019, 8:49 am Reply

School….. Is Giving me so many disease 😵😱😱

Sraj Films

Sep 9, 2019, 11:11 am Reply

Thanks ❤️


Sep 9, 2019, 6:24 pm Reply

I just went walking and got hit by a car. Thanks for the advice. Prik


Sep 9, 2019, 8:42 pm Reply

Its 2 O'clock in the morning. u want me to Go and do stretching? fucc uh

Harry The Gamer

Sep 9, 2019, 6:11 am Reply

Ok i Will lay down


Sep 9, 2019, 12:52 pm Reply

Super video!!👍👍👍👍👍

Victoria Matthew

Sep 9, 2019, 3:33 pm Reply

This explains why i move around so much: my body won't sit still.

Robert Jr

Sep 9, 2019, 8:33 pm Reply

We are not made to just sit down all the time. Im an amputee so i have no choice but to sit a lot. But sitting to much makes your body hurt

tophat84 Gammergirl

Sep 9, 2019, 11:06 pm Reply

But at school, we have to sit in our desk for hours, listening to lectures about how -100 is less than -3

Adam Martin

Sep 9, 2019, 3:49 pm Reply

We need augmented reality. Computers are a health risk.

Luis Ramirez

Sep 9, 2019, 8:48 pm Reply

Couldnt stay sitting while watching this video


Sep 9, 2019, 1:36 am Reply

How about children in school?


Sep 9, 2019, 3:50 am Reply

I love you ted❤️❤️

Rashmi Dhiman

Sep 9, 2019, 7:50 am Reply

How do you make videos please make tutorial.

Talia Shachar

Sep 9, 2019, 1:52 pm Reply

I took a deep breathe at this point 2:08


Sep 9, 2019, 6:34 am Reply

Send to your uber drivers!!

Connor Wilcox

Sep 9, 2019, 10:53 am Reply

I’m lying down, that’s probably even worse.

wait what

Sep 9, 2019, 12:37 pm Reply

Plays videogames standing

bala jee

Sep 9, 2019, 1:07 pm Reply

When my brain heard about cancer in this video, my body listened to the brain for the first time!

Felipe Porto

Sep 9, 2019, 4:43 pm Reply


es ist juri

Sep 9, 2019, 5:43 pm Reply

Well I think im just gonna stand while watching videos


Sep 9, 2019, 4:27 am Reply

watching this while sitting.. .and i suddenly realise this video is 2 yrs ago.. .

Zeinab Zzzz

Sep 9, 2019, 6:01 pm Reply

okay I'll try standing per 30 mins as I did after watching this vid

VisVia Vee

Sep 9, 2019, 2:53 am Reply

if mammals are made to move around all day , why do they all rest and sleep more than movement. Hunting, procreation, and some play as we all do. other than that us land animals sure are lazy, it's nature. anything you do will lead to death, . you want to move around all day, come back as a shark!

Aryan Hussain Khan

Sep 9, 2019, 4:32 pm Reply

im sitting down while watching this

Terry Rack

Sep 9, 2019, 9:39 pm Reply

i cant be bothered.

Jonas E.

Sep 9, 2019, 8:37 pm Reply

So is it ok to sit a lot when you do a lot of sports?

Md. Faizul Azim

Sep 9, 2019, 12:43 am Reply

Ted ed's video quality is always good.Particularly,this animation was so good.

netra Karnik

Sep 9, 2019, 12:43 pm Reply

Good job school and ted ed you are killing me

Dallas Gombash

Sep 9, 2019, 3:28 am Reply

Hmm that animation looks almost exactly like my boss, are you messing with me?

Fatih Naufal

Sep 9, 2019, 7:26 am Reply

chill, i'm watching this video while standing

Lily Kenley

Sep 9, 2019, 6:22 pm Reply

Tell that to our SCHOOLS

Leave a Reply