These are the times where most of the work is done by machines and we spend lesser times in manual labor. Apart from the work, leisure activities have reduced to a sofa or a chair as well. In all, our movement has become very restricted. Our work requires we sit for longer hours and, after we get home, we tend to sit in front of the TV with family and relax.
A report in Annals of Internal Medicine, it read that an average person spends more than half of his waking hours in an inactive state. Such prolonged periods of sitting contributes to numerous health issues and some of them can be fatal, such as obesity and diabetes. Four scientists have explained its detrimental health impacts in the following industries:
Brain, Neck and Shoulder issues
When you are moving around, the blood flow is better to your brain, which means better oxygen circulation leading to a sharp brain. Sitting for longer hours disrupt this flow, which inhibits our ability to think clearly.
Moreover, as you lean forward to work on your computer, it puts tremendous strain on your neck. It particularly puts a lot of pressure on the cervical vertebrae which connects your head to the spine. If you aren’t maintaining the right posture, it will damage your back and shoulder muscles as well.
Back issues are one of the most prominent aftermath of sitting for longer periods. Poor posture while sitting is why you would experience back pain, inflexible spines and disk damage. When you sit for too long, the disks become uneven and compact. It might even cause collagen build up around tendons and ligaments.
Moreover, it has been found that those who frequently use computer for prolonged periods, chances of herniated lumbar disks are bigger for them.
You know what’s a swayback? It is a condition where your spine’s arch is unnaturally overextended. When you sit for too long, the movement of your abs muscles is restricted and it can develop into swayback. In addition to this, if you are sitting for longer hours also reduces your flexibility in the hips and back.
If you don’t use your glute muscles, they too become soft, which ultimately leads to hindrance in your ability to take long strides and keep the body stable.
Deterioration of organs
If you sit for too long, insulin is overproduced and blood flow to organs is sluggish. It may cause heart diseases, colon cancer and cardiovascular diseases. You may also gain weight and catch obesity. When you move regularly, it helps kill carcinogenic cells and it boosts antioxidants that help remove these radicals.
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When the blood circulation in legs is hindered by sitting for too long, blood is pooled around the ankles resulting in swollen ankles, varicose veins and even harmful blood clots. You might as well suffer from weaker and less dense bones. If you move regularly, for example, walk or run, the bones in your legs become strong and thick. It may be why most adults today experience osteoporosis in their older age.
A study compared the risk of dying from a premature death when participants watched most TV and when they watched it for less than an hour a day over a span of 8.5 years. It concluded that the former were at 61% more risk of premature death. So, how do you prevent this prevalent inactivity?
1. If it is absolutely necessary for you to sit for longer periods, ensure your posture is alright. You can use an exercise ball or a backless stool to get your abs muscles working. You should avoid slouching over the keyboard.
2. You need to ensure you get up frequently and stretch – you should leave your seat every 30 minutes according to experts. Move around the office for a little while you get that blood flowing.
3. Do yoga! It not only makes your body muscles more flexible but it helps ease your mind as well. You might as well buy a standing work desk which will compel you to work in an upright position. Either way, it will aid in blood circulating more freely.
So, don’t sit for too long. Get up. Stretch. Move around. Let the blood circulate through each cell in your body. Work towards a healthier you!