According to research by the CDC, 1 in 4 Americans sits down for more than 8 hours a day. Other studies have found that a sedentary lifestyle increases a person’s death rate by 71%. Even with 4-7 hours of weekly exercise, 5-6 hours of sitting a day increases a person’s mortality rate by 50%. From this, it should be clear that sitting down for long periods of time is very bad for you. Unfortunately, due to the fact that most people work in offices, sitting down is unavoidable.
In this article, we’ll tell you how you can prevent health risks if you spend too much time at your desk:
How Bad Is Sitting For You?
Our bodies are not made to be sat down all of the time. We’re meant to be up and moving when we’re working and seated when we’re resting. When you sit down to work, it interferes with the way that your body is designed to function. An inactive lifestyle can be very bad for you and can lead to you burning fewer calories which leads to weight gain, it can also lead to reduced blood circulation, a weakened immune system, frequent inflammation, hormone imbalances, lost muscle strength, and depression, and anxiety.
If you sit down to work, you might also experience health problems like heart disease, diabetes, some types of cancer, increased body fat, osteoporosis, stroke, and premature death (as we mentioned in this article’s introduction). If you sit down for long periods of time working on a computer, there’s also a chance that you can develop strain in your hands and fingers. You might also experience eye strain, which can be very painful, soreness in your neck and shoulders, and pain in your back, arms, and legs.
Reducing Your Risk
Even if you have to work on a computer, there are ways that you can reduce your chances of developing health problems related to sitting down. You can:
- Get up and walk around once or twice every hour;
- Take the stairs as often as possible;
- On your lunch breaks, go outdoors for a walk instead of sitting down inside a cafeteria;
- Walk over to your colleagues instead of calling them or emailing them.
Try Standing Desks
A great way to avoid developing health conditions associated with prolonged sitting is to invest in a standing desk. Research has conclusively shown that those who stand to work have less inflammation, pain, and they feel more productive and energized than people who sit down to work. You can find a lot more info on standing desks on desk manufacturers’ websites. They’re also very affordable and are a great way to get your work done without hurting yourself.
If you’re going to continue to work sitting down, then you need to pay attention to your posture. You should keep your computer screen an arm’s length away from you and your monitor should be elevated slightly. Ideally, your monitor should be level with your face so that you don’t have to look up or down, which can hurt your neck. When you’re sitting, you need to keep your back straight and mustn’t lean forwards or backward. Posture is very important if you want to avoid back problems.
It’s crucial that you exercise if you sit down for long periods. While exercise will not counteract the harm that you’re doing to yourself by sitting down, it will still bring down your mortality rate by around 25%. You should try to go outdoors for runs regularly, go for frequent walks, and go to the gym and try out yoga. Exercise is a great way to strengthen your body. Alternatively, you could try to get into more laborious work that requires you to use your hands. This will allow you to completely forgo the risks associated with office jobs and will allow you to increase your chances of a long life.
A healthy diet is also very important. While a healthy diet is completely unrelated to you sitting down, it will ensure that you gain less weight. If you sit down for long periods and don’t eat healthily, you’re almost guaranteed to put weight on. Increased weight gain combined with a sedentary lifestyle can increase your chances of heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions. Try to eat green, leafy vegetables and lots of fruit. Make sure that you drink lots of water also. Try to cut down on sugar where you can.
Sitting down can be very bad for you, but there are a few solutions. If you work an office job, then make sure that you take this article into consideration. You can prolong your life expectancy by following the simple tips contained in this article.