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Impact of sitting on prostate health

Every 6th man-sitting-at-desk-blogman in the western world gets prostate cancer. About one of the six dies of it. Vast majority of men (over 90 %) have enlarged prostates at the age of 60. Large number of men use medication that prevents prostate enlargement. Practically all senior men have slower urination because the prostate has grown. The urethra goes through the prostate. When the prostate grows, the passage gets smaller and the urinating slows down. Men are worried about this phenomenon.
So far there has not been any convincing evidence, or rational explanation or theory, about why the prostate grows, has poor health and kills a lot of men. In physiology the interactions are surely very complex. Many factors have various effects and their precise interaction usually remains a mystery even to the best of scholars.
Now there is a new promising theory about what irritates the prostate: traditional sitting! This is very understandable and logical. When sitting on traditional chairs the weight of the upper body, which can be considerable, presses the pelvis. Also we sit for longer periods of time, and men are also heavier than before.
The process goes like this:
  1. Man is sitting down, the sit bones (ischial tuberosities) sink in the padding, the padding presses soft tissues (skin, fat, muscles) between the sit bones trough the pelvic opening into the lower pelvic area.
  2. Pressure field builds up in the lower pelvic area and the pressure spreads out in internal organs which include much more liquid than the body in average (67 %). We know that the pressure spreads out evenly in liquid.
  3. Increased pressure disturbs normal metabolism (lots of classic examples of this in different organs) which, in time, cause dysfunctions and illnesses.
The rational and indirect proofs for the theory that sitting increases prostate problems:
  1. Men who stand more and whose work is physical have 23 % less prostate cancer than office workers, and about half the amount of colorectal cancers.
  2. About 49 % of all cancers of men in Europe concentrate in the region between the sacrum, pubic bone and sit bones (in an area the capacity of which is about one litre) where men have the prostate, bladder, urethra, anus, rectum and part of the colon. As much as 70 % of all those cancers occur in the prostate.
  3. Men who have prostate infection feel pain on all seats, but considerably less on a divided seat where the gap prevents pressure from building up inside the pelvis.
  4. There is a growing number of men, whose already enlarged prostates have shrunk back, even down to 10–11 g level, after they have used a divided chair with about 40 mm wide gap under the pelvic opening.
  5. The prostate is very close to the skin, just round the edge of the pubic bone, and thus gets a lot of sitting pressure.
Many risk factors have been found, or suspected, to increase prostate cancer. Sitting is a very promising candidate to be the main risk. Before the studies show the right order of the risk factors, it is smart of all men to try to avoid them all and thus decrease the probability of this very unpleasant illness.
Veli-Jussi Jalkanen
Sitting and health specialist