We spend most of our day on the run. With all the automation that is increasingly entering our home and office, we still can find no better word than "hectic" or “manic” to describe the way we pack plenty of activity into our day. And when it is finally a weekend shopping, active entertainment with kids and gym workouts make us hanker for a quiet minute to lie or at least sit-down. And we start to envy programmers or writers sitting at a desk all day and wish for a job where you can never complain of sitting too long.
Research confirms that the effects of sitting too much may not be altogether positive. What sitting does to your body can be detrimental and even gruesome. Let's look closer at the dangers of sitting too much and how it impacts your body:
Leg and Gluteal Muscles
Sitting too much is sure to weaken and waste away muscles responsible for walking and stabilizing the body. It may result in a greater plausibility of strains and injuries.
Hips and Back
These too are likely to fail to support your posture and lead to back pain and spine disc compression. Moreover, you may develop serious problems with your hip joints caused by the shortening of the hip flexor muscles.
Neck and Shoulders
If you spend much time hunched at your computer desk these body parts may develop stiffness and further pain.
A sedentary lifestyle jeopardizes your heart provoking cardiovascular disease on a much greater scale in comparison with more active people.
Limited blood flow to the legs causes spider veins to appear. Sitting for too long is also known to cause blood clots and even deep vein thrombosis. Having being dislodged these clots can travel along with your blood system and block some organs (for instance, lungs) which may become lethal.
How to Reduce Sedentary Behavior
So, is sitting bad for you? You bet. Are we doomed then? Of course not. Here are a few tips to avoid or at best minimize the dangers of sitting:
Movement breaks are imperative: Make it a habit to rise from wherever you sit every hour for 5 minutes at least. And not just stand up. Stretching, reaching for your toes, and taking a walk around the premises will invigorate your stiff limbs.
Spend more time standing: There are many ways to reduce sitting time by switching on the standing mode on your automated desk more often. To do that buy a standing desk, stand in transport (if the trip is not going to last several hours), use stairs instead of escalators and elevators, get up from the chair to grab something instead of trying to reach out for it, stand or walk while talking on the phone or during a business meeting.
Handle TV and computer properly: Since these modern gadgets are the two major reasons that keep us seated for hours it is recommended to review your relationships with them. Get up from the couch during commercial breaks, limit the time you spend at a screen or even establish “no screen spans” which are sure to encourage you to move about more.
- Stay active: Working out is the best way to keep fit. However if gyming is not your cup of tea, there are plenty of exercises to do that can help you stay active. Get involved in active hobbies such as dancing, gardening, golfing, etc). And if that still doesn’t appeal to you remember that 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 can hardly call sitting healthy just because this posture allows for minimal energy use. To put it simply, while sitting a human burns fewer calories. Consequently, the likelihood of gaining weight increases. Obesity which thus develops is the first step on the road to diabetes since insulin resistance in the body builds up causing an increase in blood sugar.
A sedentary way of life puts you at risk of some perilous diseases to say nothing of ordinary muscular pains. Regular movement and physical exercise are essential to reduce hazardous effects the prolonged sitting may have on your organism.