We live in a modern world where machines do pretty much most of the work for us, eliminating the need for manual work. As convenient as it seems, this takes its toll on our health.
More than 34 million Americans have sales or office jobs, which forces them to remain sedentary for over 8 hours daily.
According to a report published in Annals of Internal Medicine, an average adult spends over half of his/ her time in an inactive state, whether it is watching TV, sitting at a computer, or commuting to and from work.
Sitting down for an extended period of time can cause problems like poor posture, chronic back pain, and even conditions like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
If you are living a sedentary lifestyle, take a look at the specifics of how sitting down for a prolonged time can negatively affect your health!
- Back Problems
Bad posture contributes to inflexible spines, disc damage, and back pain as sitting too long is associated with accumulation of collagen around the ligaments and tendons. Also, by sitting down, the discs become compact and uneven.
- Brain, Neck, And Shoulder Issues
Being physically active means more oxygen and blood flowing through the brain, which in turn helps us keep the mind sharp and maintain clarity. But, sitting for an extended period of time slows the flow of oxygen and blood, inhibiting our ability to think properly.
In addition, staring at a computer screen puts strain on the neck, especially the cervical vertebrae. Ultimately, poor posture affects the shoulders, as they become overextended because of the leaning over the keyboard for a longer period of time.
- Leg Disorders
Sitting too long hinders circulation in the legs, which causes blood to pool around the ankles. Consequently, this leads to harmful blood clots, swollen ankles, and varicose veins. Another issue caused by sitting too long is that bones become less dense and weaker.
- Muscle Degeneration
Not using the abdominal muscles for too long, as in the case with sitting, leads to swayback, or an unnatural overextension of the spine`s arch. Also, sitting too long decreases flexibility, especially in the back and hips. Ultimately, the glute muscles become soft after prolonged periods of disuse.
- Deterioration of Organs
Sitting for an extended period of time can cause colon cancer, heart disease, and cardiovascular disease. Specifically, these problems are caused by overproduction of insulin because of inactivity, and sluggish blood flow to the organs.
What To Do About It?
- Stretch up regularly, at least once every thirty minutes. Get up and walk around the office for a couple of minutes, too.
- Sit up straight and avoid leaning over the keyboard. Get an exercise ball or a backless stool to keep the body straight and the abdominal muscles engaged.
- Yoga allows the mind to relax and keeps the muscles flexible. Getting a standing work desk is also a good idea.