Sitting for too long could increase your chance of developing urinary problems, says a new study. Sitting for more than 10 hours could make you 16 per cent more likely to experience problems urinating, according to South Korean researchers.
These problems could include urinating more frequently, a lower flow stream and mild incontinence – collectively known as lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).
Sitting for too long can increase your chance of developing urinary tract problems
WHAT ARE LOWER URINARY TRACT SYMPTOMS (LUTS)?
The lower urinary tract comprises the bladder and the tube urine passes through out of the body (urethra).
Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are common in men and women as they get older.
They can include:
- problems with storing urine, such as an urgent or frequent need to go to the toilet, or feeling like you need to go straight after you’ve just been
- problems with passing urine, such as a slow stream of urine, straining to pass urine, or stopping and starting as you pass urine
- problems after you’ve passed urine, such as feeling that you’ve not completely emptied your bladder or passing a few drops of urine after you think you’ve finished
Experiencing LUTS can make urinary incontinence more likely.
Researchers at at the Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in Seoul aren’t sure why this happens but say sitting may affect blood supply to the pelvis.
The dangers of sitting still
While the dangers of not exercising enough have been long established – having been linked to obesity, diabetes, heart problems, cancer and early mortality – they have not been connected with LUTS before.
Looking at answers from a questionnaire of 69,795 Korean men, the researchers compared sitting down times with self-reported urinary problems.
The men’s health was then followed over an average of two and half years.
Besides their questionnaire, blood samples and BMI measurement were used to determine whether fitness, blood chemistry, obesity or age had anything to do with developing LUTS.
The researchers found the more time participants spent sitting, the more likely they were to develop urinary problems.
Younger and fitter men were less likely to develop the symptoms, however.
‘The results support the importance of both reducing sitting time and promoting physical activity for preventing LUTS,’ the study’s lead author, Dr Heung Jae Park, said.
Sitting for more than 10 hours could make you 16 per cent more likely to experience problems urinating, according to research published in the journal BJU International (Image from stock)
Bloody supply to the pelvis
The researchers, who published their findings in the BJU International, say they don’t know why this is the case.
They suggest sitting can result in a ‘unique physiological milieu’ in the pelvic area and lower urinary tract, and that this may lead to lower blood supply and to LUTS.
They also believe a build up of plaque in the blood vessels may be a factor in developing LUTS.
However, Dr Seungho Ryu, a senior author on the study added that further research is needed to determine exactly why sitting down for too long can boost the risk of LUTS.