Globally, people are becoming increasingly sedentary due to current conveniences, our changing lifestyles, and the expansion of the service sector. Office workers spend around 10 hours a day sitting down, with the majority of these hours being spent at work.
Many people’s jobs include long stretches of sitting with only occasional breaks for short strolls down the hall or around the block. While it’s simple to brush this off as an ordinary aspect of adult life, experts are getting more and more concerned about it. According to studies, sitting for long periods of time can harm your health in a variety of ways and potentially decrease your life span.
Harmful side effects of sitting for prolonger hours
1. Compromised posture
The pelvis rotates backward while sitting, placing pressure on the lumbar discs. In order to compensate for the weight shift, this position compels the shoulders to bend and forces the head to go forward.
2. Chronic pains
Long hours of sitting at a desk and improper seating postures cause significant increases in lower back pressure. These physical discomforts can eventually develop into signs of long-term illnesses.
3. Weight gain and obesity
Because the body’s primary muscular groups aren’t being used while a person is sitting at a desk, their energy consumption is decreased. This has the potential to cause weight gain and, in extreme circumstances, obesity over an extended period of time.
4. Heart disease
It is undeniable that sitting, along with a general lack of physical exercise, contributes to many cases of cardiovascular disease. In addition to reducing blood supply to the legs, sitting has an effect on blood pressure and sugar management. By impairing blood vessel function, it contributes to diabetes and heart attacks. Body mass index and waist circumference are additional factors in heart health; in both situations, the levels increase with prolonged sitting.
5. Slower metabolism and diabetes
Sitting at a desk all day hinders the body’s capacity to control blood sugar, resulting in decreased sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which aids in the transport of glucose from the bloodstream into cells where it may be utilized for energy.
When a person uses the computer as their exclusive mode of contact, their social circle shrinks, and feelings of despair and loneliness develop. Being cooped up at your desk also means you’re probably not getting enough fresh air. A lack of sunlight can cause a person to become vitamin D deficient, which can contribute to depression.
7. Back and spine issues
Extended sitting places a substantial strain on the spine as well as other joints, such as the shoulders and hips, especially when sitting with bad posture. Sitting at our computers frequently slouch, craning our necks forward, which can contribute to long-term postural imbalance. Sitting can also cause general deconditioning, early muscle fatigue, weaker core stabilizers, and hip flexor tightness, resulting in greater stress on your low back and decreased spine flexibility. It also affects the gluteal buttock muscles over time, causing deactivation and weakening. This is known as gluteal amnesia, and it can cause low back and hip pain.
8. Varicose veins
If you sit for an extended period of time, blood might pool in your legs. This increases the pressure in your veins. They might swell, twist, or bulge. They are frequently referred to as varicose veins. They are typically not dangerous, although they can cause pain.
9. Brain damage
Yes, don’t be shocked; it appears that extended sitting not only affects your body but also your brain. A sedentary lifestyle, which entails sitting for extended periods of time, can result in the thinning of a specific area of the brain that is crucial for the creation of new memories.
How to avoid and reduce these risks?
Movement is the key; here are ways to minimize your risk of several illnesses connected with extended inactivity:Change your seating position
Move around while sitting. A variety of unique seats serve to redefine office design by encouraging motion seating. Swopper chairs provide various movements like rocking, bouncing, and perching while also promoting good posture.Every hour, get up and stretch
Take a walk around the office or outside after every hour of sitting to obtain some fresh air. You can preset an alarm to alert when the time comes. You can also take brief activity breaks at regular intervals. Some workouts you can do at your desk are stand-ups, squats, arm rolls, and push-ups.Change your work routines
When possible, limit your computer time. Divide the job into smaller chunks and alternate between activities that need various motions.Get a standing desk
A standing desk is a wonderful approach to counteract the negative consequences of sitting all day. Being on your feet can help you burn an additional 8-10 calories every hour. It’s not much, but if you stand on and off during the day, it adds up!Sit on a Stability Ball
A stability ball offers several benefits for your back and core muscles. It may take some time to become used to sitting on a ball. Perform some abs while sitting for the greatest effects.