Whether you work from home or in an office, chances are you spend a lot of time sitting. Research shows that the average adult spends over 6-7 hours a day in a seated position, and this number can go up to 8 hours or more for office workers (in the best-case scenario).
The list of long-term negative consequences is so extensive that it could fuel multiple dissertations. According to statistics, 80% of adults experience spine problems directly linked to a sedentary lifestyle. Virtually everything is affected, from your overall physical condition to your psycho-emotional well-being. It’s easier to name what doesn’t suffer.
This is the typical case of going against nature—humans have always been on the move throughout their evolutionary history. Hunting, gathering, building—all these activities involved active physical labor rather than sitting.
Let’s take the heart and blood vessels as an example. When you move, your muscles contract and relax, squeezing and releasing the vessels, pumping blood like a pump. This can remove up to 20% of the load on the heart. Recent studies indicate that prolonged sitting can lead to a 22% increase in ‘bad’ cholesterol levels in the blood.
For example, if you choose to stand rather than sit, you can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by twice. In addition to this, blood sugar levels are 10% lower in people who stand compared to those who sit.
How to Adapt to a Sedentary Job:
- Take breaks every 30-45 minutes—this can be easily done by using smartphone apps.
- During breaks, stand up, walk around, and do some light stretching.
- While sitting, try to move as much as possible—change your position, wiggle your legs, and adjust your torso.
- Place a massage mat under your feet or roll a massage ball with your foot.
- Work while standing or alternate between sitting and standing—height-adjustable desks are available for this purpose.
Another option is to use a laptop stand, which allows you to work while standing. Another is investing in a height-adjustable desk, which can be altered for sitting or standing positions, providing flexibility to change your posture throughout the day. It’s also beneficial to take a break every hour for a walk or exercises. Some research recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week to maintain heart and vascular health.
If you have a sedentary job and lifestyle, exercise becomes not just a privilege but a necessity.
Here’s a baseline to aim for: a minimum of 30 minutes of medium-paced walking daily and two strength-training sessions per week.
Of course, this is if you wish to maintain your health in the long run. This won’t completely solve the problem, but it will partially offset the negative impact that constant sitting has on your blood circulation, heart, metabolic processes, and spine.
The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. The content presented on this website should be considered solely as opinions and personal experiences. Read more