Sometimes we envy programmers or writers sitting at a desk all day and wish for a job where you can never complain of sitting too long. But do you know that sitting too long on your chair can lessen your life drastically? While we wish that this was just a myth, but despite 6 million years of evolution under our belts, we have gone from being hunters and gatherers to getting too comfortable in our offices and houses.
What sitting all day does to your body can be frightful. Let’s have a closer look at the dangers of sitting too much and how it impacts our bodies:
Leg and gluteal muscles
Sitting too much weakens and wastes away muscles responsible for walking and stabilizing the body. Resulting in a greater plausibility of strains and injuries.
Hips and back
Muscles in your hips and back are also prone to failing to support your posture and lead to back pain and spine disc compression. Moreover, you may develop serious hip joint problems caused by the shortening of the hip flexor muscles.
Neck and shoulders
Spending too much time hunched at your computer desk results in these parts develop stiffness and further pain. Causing you lose your productivity
It is a well-known fact not that a sedentary lifestyle jeopardizes your heart, increasing the chances of cardiovascular diseases when compared with more active people.
Limited blood flow to the legs is a major cause of spider veins disease. Sitting for too long is known to cause blood clots and deep vein thrombosis.
How to reduce Sedentary Behaviour
We have thus established that sitting is bad for our health. Are we doomed then? Of course not. There are plenty of ways to avoid or minimize the dangers of sitting:
- Movement breaks: Make it a habit to rise for 5 minutes for every hour that you sit at least. Do not just stand up, use those 5 minutes for stretching or taking a walk around the premises to invigorate your stiff limbs.
- Spend more time standing: The Introduction of standing desks has made it easier for people to work while standing. With the help of a standing desk, you can easily elevate your working surface to standing height. You can also choose to stand while using transit (if the trip is not going to last several hours), using stairs instead of escalators and elevators, try to stand or walk while talking on the phone, or during a meeting.
- Handle TV and computer properly: These gadgets are the two major reasons that keep us seated for hours, thus it is recommended to review your relationships with them. Get up from the couch during commercial breaks and limit the time you spend at a screen.
- Stay active: Working out is a great way to keep fit. There are plenty of easy exercises that can help you stay active. Get involved in active hobbies such as dancing, gardening, golfing, etc. If those don’t appeal to you there is always work to be done around the house to keep you moving – Walk your dog, clean the house, or simply take out the trash. Your muscles and your back will thank you for it later.
One cannot call sitting healthy just because this posture allows for minimal use of energy. Due to lower calorie consumption due to excessive sitting the likelihood of gaining weight increases increasing the chances of obesity. A sedentary way of life puts you at risk of life-threatening diseases and muscular pains. Regular movement and physical exercise are essential to reduce the hazardous effects of prolonged sitting caused to our bodies.