Sitting at your desk may be a mandatory requirement at your day job, but it can be affecting your entire body. In this article, we will be exploring the dangers of sitting and how to reverse the dangers your job may do to your body.
The Dangers of Sitting
Human beings are designed to stand straight. In fact, our cardiovascular system and heart are hardwired to work better while standing. Additionally, our bowels function better when we stand upright as well. This leads to the common problem of bedridden people to have problems with their bowels. When you stand more, you are burning more energy, helping you improve your endurance levels and bone strength.
Legs and Glutes
Sitting down for a long period of time can greatly affect your legs and gluteal muscles. In better words, if you don’t work your legs or glutes, you may end up losing them. Working these larger leg muscles are key to stabilization and walking. When they are out of shape or aren’t being exercised at all, you are much more likely to injury or strain yourself once you start working out.
Moving about helps your body digest sugars and fat you eat during the day. The more time you sit, the longer your digestive system takes to get rid of these sugars and fats. Even exercising after sitting for a long period of time can lead to serious health problems, such as metabolic syndrome. Recent studies have shown that you need at least 75 minutes of exercising to help reduce the health risks of sitting excessively.
Back and Hips
Similar to your leg and glute muscles, your back and hips will not have the muscle density to support you when you sit for extended periods. In fact, sitting can cause your hip flexor muscles to shorten. This can lead to a variety of different hip joint problems that can cost you hundreds in medical bills.
Additionally, sitting with poor posture for an extended period of time can cause spin problems such as premature degeneration.
Studies are showing that sitting for an extended time can increase the risk of lung, colon, and uterine cancers.
Sitting down for hours on end has been previously linked to heart disease. A recent study has shown that males who sit for over 23 hours a week to watch TV have nearly a 64 percent risk of cardiovascular disease, compared to those who only watch 11 hours of TV a week.
Recent studies showed that lying in bed for up to 5 days can increase your insulin resistance. Those who spend more time sitting than walking around or standing have nearly a 112 percent risk of diabetes.
Sitting Is Directly Correlated to Early Death
Research from over one million people have shown that the more stationary you are, the more likely it is for you to die early.
What You Can Do
Luckily, there are things you can do to offset the negative effects of sitting for long periods every day. Here are a few suggestions to help you lead a longer and healthier life.
Make Small Changes
By making just a few simple changes to your regular activity, you can increase the amount of physical activity you are getting. Though they may seem small, doing these few things can make all the difference. Try simple things like parking further away from your work, taking the long route to the bathroom, or getting up to talk to a co worker rather than emailing or calling them
Stand Up Once an Hour
Standing for even a minute or two once an hour can limit the damage caused by sitting. You do not even need to move, just standing up can help. However, you can choose to do whatever you like with these mini breaks. Try walking in place, touching your toes, or organizing your workspace.
When you are busy during work hours, however, it can be hard to remember to do this. Try setting an alarm to remind yourself to stand up every hour.
Take Probiotic Supplements
There are a number of benefits of probiotics, including fighting the damage down by sitting. Taking a probiotic supplement can help you to lose weight, boost your immune system, improve digestion, and even fight cancer. Consider taking a probiotic supplement on a daily basis.
Using a Standing Workstation
This is one of the best ways you can fight the effects of sitting: take sitting out of the equation!
Try to work in at least half an hour of exercise every day. This can be doing something as simple as going for a walk or as intensive as weight training. No matter what you choose to do, be sure you are up and moving for a minimum of thirty consecutive minutes.
Though there are many negative side effects that come with sitting for long periods of the day, it is not too late to make a change. By making simple changes to your lifestyle, you can reverse some of the damage done by sitting behind your desk every day.