Adverse Effect of Sitting All Day

Any professional today working in an office or using a computer in their career may likely find themselves sitting at a desk on a daily basis. While sitting at a desk for extended periods might be necessary, a sedentary job may have an impact on health.

Research has shown that sitting all day can have some serious negative effects on even the healthiest employee.

Increased Risks

Various studies have shown that prolonged periods of sitting will likely put an individual at an increased risk of developing serious medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and even some types of cancer. Men and women, who spend hours seated in their careers, as well as hours of free time spent seated at home, are increasing their risk of cardiovascular disease. The longer a person sits throughout the day, the shorter their lifespan becomes. Regular exercise has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure and boost metabolism. Maintaining a sedentary position for hours on end keeps the body too relaxed, which does not allow the muscles to get proper use. As a result, many of the body functions slow down and for over a long period of time can lead to health issues.

Weight Gain and Obesity

A person who spends a significant amount of time in a sitting position throughout the day may find that weight gain becomes an issue. As the body slows down while in a resting and seated position, the metabolism naturally slows down. Calories are burnt at a far lower rate when most of the muscles are not in use. Workers may find themselves snacking at their desks throughout the day, which often means that empty calories are being taken in, but are not burnt off. For people, who have a demanding career, finding the time to eat healthy meals and snacks may not be a priority, and one’s body weight and overall health can suffer as a result. Individuals, who lead a predominantly sedentary lifestyle, are more likely to suffer from obesity.

Less Time Sitting, More Time Standing and Walking

A typical office job will have a worker sitting at his or her desk for at least eight hours a day, five days a week. Between work and home, some people actually spend as many as 13 hours daily sitting. It may seem perfectly fine to get home from a long day of work and unwind with a few hours on the couch, but that only contributes to the amount of time spent sitting. Getting as much exercise as possible throughout the week and engaging in light physical activity is essential. Breaking up the amount of time spent seated can help minimize the health risks. Spend less time sitting and more time standing and walking, using the many muscles in the body.

What to Do

Employees with careers that require them to spend extended periods of time working at a desk, need to be mindful of their activity levels throughout the day. It is important to take the time to stand up and stretch at least once per hour. A quick walk around the office every hour is a good idea. Engaging in regular exercise before or after work hours is simply not enough, but at least thirty minutes of physical activity per day is helpful. A healthy lifestyle must involve a moderate amount of exercise. Consider switching to a standing position at work. Many employers are opting to create workstations that allow employees to stand up at their desks throughout the day while working comfortably. Many career choices require employees to spend lengthy periods on a computer, so being informed and proactive about staying active is essential for the associated health risks.

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