Nowadays, as explained on Gotta Do the Right Thing, we live in a world where manual labor is less common than before due to the presence of different types of machines. However, because of the fact that more than 34 millions of Americans work in an office, they spend eight hours or more per day in a sitting position.
Moreover, according to a report by Annals of Internal Medicine, the average individual spends half of their waking hours in a sitting position in front of a desk, commuting to work or watching TV. Unfortunately, most of us spend our days being physically inactive. What you may not be aware of is the fact that physical activity, among other factors, is crucial for a healthy and disease-free life.
Medical experts agree that a sedentary lifestyle can significantly worsen the health and be the main contributor to health issues like chronic backache, obesity, heart illness, diabetes, and poor posture. If you have not yet included regular physical activity to your daily life, especially if you work a job that involves a lot of sitting, you will definitely be more physically active after you learn about the disadvantages of leading a sedentary lifestyle.
Health Problems Caused by Sedentary Lifestyle
- Back problems
Excessive sitting can worsen the posture and further lead to spine pain, disc damage, and pain in the upper part of the back. Prolonged sitting may trigger depositing of collagen around tendons and ligaments and worsen the health of the vertebrae discs.
- Organ deterioration
Prolonged physical inactivity can trigger excessive production of insulin and worsen the blood flow to the organs and thus, increase the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and weight gain.
- Degenerated muscles
While we sit, we do not use the abdominal muscles and when they are not used for a prolonged period of time, you are at risk of developing swayback or an overextension of the spine’s natural curve. Sitting for too long will also decrease the flexibility of your back and hips. It will also soften the glutes and impede the capacity to maintain the body stable while walking.
- Neck, shoulder, and brain problems
When we move the body, we supply the brain with more blood and oxygen, which in turn helps us keep a sharp mind and mental clarity. When you sit for too long, the blood flow to the brain lowers and your capacity for clear thinking minimizes. The constant leaning when we are working at a desk has a negative impact on the back and shoulder muscles and it can cause damage in the long run.
- Leg issues
Too much sitting will decrease the blood flow in the legs and you may become more prone to swollen ankles, varicose veins, and blood clots. The bones’ density also weakens and decreases, thus, putting you at a higher chance of osteoporosis.
Tips for How to Make Your Life less Sedentary
If your job demands sitting for prolonged periods of time, here are some tips to reduce the negative effects of too much sitting:
- Avoid leaning over the desk or slouching in the chair; sit up straight as much as possible.
- Sit on an exercise ball if you are able to. This will maintain the abdominal muscles involved and the body straight.
- Stretch out every half hour or so and remember to stand up and walk around for several minutes throughout your work day to maintain the blood flow going and the muscles and brain active.