Let’s be real, A LOT of people have desk jobs, and as a result, a common body issue is back pain. If you really got the short-end of the stick, you might have even developed carpel tunnel syndrome. These are just a few of the many side-effects of having a sedentary lifestyle.
In an interview with Los Angeles Times Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative, claims that sitting is more dangerous than smoking, has killed more people than HIV, and is more treacherous than parachuting. Yes, you read that right. Sitting is basically the new smoking.
What Sitting All Day Does To Your Body
We all know sitting for hours shows up on our waistline. Weight gain is the most obvious consequence of a sedentary lifestyle. It also affects our health more than we think. Being overweight increases the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and more life-threatening diseases.
Impact On Internal Organs
While sitting at a desk, our body burns less fat. Over time, this can lead to fatty acids clogging arteries. Blood circulations is also relatively slower, leading to problems related to blood pressure. Studies have also linked sitting for hours to elevated cholesterol, cardiovascular diseases and increased risks of colon, breast, and even endometrial cancer.
As a child, I’m sure we all remember being reminded by our teachers and parents to sit up straight. When we slump in our chairs, the abdominal muscles that keep us upright go unused. Slumping wrecks your posture and affects our spine’s natural arch. Over time, this leads to severe back pain issues. Chronic chair sitters rarely extend their hip flexor muscles. Tight hips limit the range of motion and also decrease hip mobility.
Slow Brain Function
Moving puts our muscles to work and fresh blood packed with oxygen and other nutrients are circulated throughout the body and most importantly, the brain. This, in turn, triggers the release of mood-boosting chemicals, keeping our brain functioning in tip-top shape. Sitting for long periods of time slows it all down and affects our brain function. Studies have also found that people who sit for more than 6 hours every day are 90 percent more likely to be psychologically distressed and feel nervous, tired or restless.
What’s The Solution?
So, how can we avoid all of these desk job health problems? Move. If you can, literally get up right now and walk around your work area. Listen to some music and dance if you have to. Just move! Moving is the only answer to the woes of our sedentary lifestyles. Our bodies are built for motion and sitting for long hours is going completely against human evolution.
Stop working and take a five-minute walk every hour to ease your body from the health hazards of sitting all day. Try desk exercises that you can perform while sitting. Above everything else, maintain a healthy lifestyle which involves a nutritious diet and routine physical exercise.
Move more, sit less! Have a long and healthy life.