A health guide: Sitting too much isn’t as naive as you might think
Most of us spend most of our adult lives working from the office. Working in an office means spending hours and hours at the desk. While it may seem harmless, sitting that much may be a cause to many health issues.
Scientists agree that sitting can cause various health problems, even in physically active individuals. Apparently, a lot of sitting is associated with the risk of mortality and a few hours at the gym weekly aren’t enough to compensate for the damage made to our body.
This is what happens to a body when seated for extended periods of time:
- Low energy expenditure
Spending too many hours at the desk, brings energy levels down and causes overall body immobility. The resistance to low energy expenditure much depends on the genetic background while at the same time relates to a person’s general lifestyle.
- Metabolism issues
The prolonged, immobile sitting decreases the effect of insulin, slows the clearance of fat from the blood stream and decreased muscle contractions that speed up food processing in our digestive systems.
- The posture
Sitting puts pressure on the lumbar discs and causes the pelvis to rotate backward. Because of this unnatural body position, the head is forced forward which leads to shoulders curving in order to compensate for the weight transfer.
- Back and spine injuries
When exposed to a lot of sitting, the low back and surrounding muscles and joints are under a lot of stress caused by prolonged, static loading of tissues
- Social skills
With a lot f sitting at your desk, working and staring at the computer, people tend to forget all about their real, outside-the-office life. The person who is reduced to a life in front of a computer doesn’t go out much which means he/she doesn’t get enough sunlight. This then leads to lack of sunshine and consequently vitamin D deficiency followed by depression.
When the computer is used as the single form of communication, feelings of loneliness are believed to increase. In time, a person’s ability to socialize decreases which can lead to social anxiety, depression and eventually loneliness.
- Chronic pain
Too much sitting inevitably leads to back, neck and shoulder pain, lower back pressure, migraines and vision problems. These pains can become the symptoms of chronic diseases.
Further, too much sitting is known to result in rheumatic disorders like osteoarthritis.
- Weight gain/Obesity
Obesity is the most common problem happening to young, working people. Sitting for extended periods of time leads to energy expenditure since calorie burning is minimized and the body’s major muscle groups aren’t being utilized.
If you are genetically predisposed to getting diabetes, you are in an even bigger danger.
The body’s ability to handle blood sugar is impaired with prolonged hours of sitting. The body is then exposed to a reduced sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which is extremely important in carring glucose from the blood into cells where it can be used for energy.
- Cancer and risk of heart disease
Studies confirm that people who are physically inactive are exposed to an increased incidence of cancer. If working in a sedentary job, women’s chances of developing breast, corpus uteri, and ovary cancer are heighten.
Further, a risk of heart disease has increased by up to 64% since sedentary jobs have become so present. Cardiovascular disease are apparently more present in men.
- Job loss
Since so many jobs are reduced to sitting in an office, you are probably wondering what the solution to the situation may be. After all, you do want to stay healthy while at the same time keeping your job. Well, there are a few pointers you may rely on.
Doctors advise periodically moving around in your seat while working and standing or walking while talking on the phone or eating lunch. Your day should have enough organized breaks, consisted of going out for some fresh air. The furniture at the office you work at should be ergonomic, so talking to your boss about getting new office furniture would be great.
We do hope reading of the previous passages made it clear for you that you need to do something with your work dynamics in order to stay healthy and upbeat. To additionally better your life, include a lot of healthy foods in your day like veggies, fruits and whole grains while avoiding greasy snacks and fast food. Drink a lot of cold water too, it’ll speed up your metabolism and speed up digestion. Good luck!