Having an easy desk job is not all that it is cracked up to be. In fact, sitting for six or more hours a day puts you at a 64% greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, as well as increasing your chances of contracting various forms of cancer – even if you exercise daily. In other words, sitting all day literally is cutting years off your life. Between work, driving and watching TV at home, some people can spend close to 15 hours a day sitting.
The risks of sitting too much
Just sitting for 6 hours a day over a two week span is enough to change some of your major bodily functions. Your blood sugar will go up and your muscles will not absorb fat as efficiently as they should – leading to weight gain, diabetes or worse. Over longer periods of time – say a year – some subjects will start to manifest bone loss. Other factors such as diet and lifestyle can mitigate or worsen these manifestations, but even the healthiest of us are in danger from being sedentary for too long. Sitting for 11 or more hours per day puts you at as much as a 40% higher risk of dying in the next three years, as opposed to those who sit less. The bottom line is simple – the longer you sit, the shorter your life.
Since sitting will be inevitable in many jobs, you have to find a way to make the most out of it for your body’s sake. Taking frequent breaks to let your body move a little and get your heart pumping will help. Make excuses to get up on your feet, even if it is just for a few moments. You should stand up at least once and hour. Moving at all can seriously put off premature death. How can you do this? Let’s look at some ideas:
How to increase activity at work
Since exercising a few times a week really does not make up for a sedentary lifestyle, you need to find ways to get moving at work. Studies show that getting short breaks with just a moderate level of physical activity have positive affects almost across the board on the human body. You can really get creative and have fun doing this as well. Start by doing the simple things, park further away from the door, take the stairs rather than the elevator and keep some of your daily necessities away from your disk which will force you to stand up and get them.
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If you get a phone call or feel like taking a short snack break – take it standing up. Having a business meeting? Go for a walk, or meet somewhere outside of the office. It’s the little things like these that can make all the difference to keep you healthy. One of my favorite things to do is biking to work when the weather is nice. It may add a few minutes to your daily commute, but your body will thank you for the activity.
Finding the right office chair
The next item on your list should be getting a better chair. Since you spend so much time sitting at work, your office chair should be like your own personal throne. Bad chairs can cause long term back problems or worse. An ergonomic chair that fits to the contours of your body will help reduce the strain that sitting puts on your entire body. Don’t know where to start looking? Try Sit4Life online as you begin the ever important search for your new throne.
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