Today we live in a developed world where all the machines do so much work for us, which greatly reduces the need for manual labor. There are over 34 million American that is in an office or doing a sales job, who are forced to remain sedentary for 8 or more hours a day.
The average person spends more than half of his or her waking hours in an active state and this has been shown in a report published in Annals of Internal Medicine, which is sitting at a computer, watching TV, commuting to and from work, etc.
While technology brings with it obvious benefits, such as getting more done in less time, consolidating our efforts, and connecting us to others at lightning speeds, it has many drawbacks, as well.
Sitting down for a long time can cause problems such as chronic back pain, poor posture, and even potentially deadly diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Take a look at the specifics of how this can negatively impact your health if you spend a lot of time sitting down for your job.
According to four experts in the industry:
Brain, Neck, and Shoulder Issues
The more we move the more the blood and oxygen flow throughout the brain. This is what helps us to maintain clarity and helps us to keep our mind sharp. As today we are forced to sit in one place and that will slow the flow of the oxygen and blood to our brains, this will minimize the ability to think clearly.
Also, slumping forward at work to stare at a computer screen puts tremendous strain on the neck, particularly the cervical vertebrae, which connects the spine to your head. Poor posture also damages the back and shoulder muscles, as they become overextended due to leaning over a keyboard for long periods of time.
One of the most apparent problems that occur for most people on their backs is because of the bad posture. This contributes a massive pain to the back, inflexible spines, and disk damage. Moving around causes soft disks between vertebrae in the spine to expand and contract, allowing blood and nutrients in. By sitting in one place for too long, the disks become uneven and compact which can even cause collagen to build up around tendons and ligaments. Also, herniated lumbar disks occur more frequently in people who spend prolonged periods of time in front of a computer.
Sitting doesn’t require the use of your abs muscles, and if they go unused for too long, this can actually because you to develop what’s called swayback, or the unnatural overextension of the spines natural arch. Plus, sitting too long decreases overall flexibility, particularly in the hips and back. Flexible hips aid in balancing the body, but by sitting too long, the hip flexor muscles become short and tense. The gluten muscles also become soft after prolonged periods of disuse, and this hinders your ability to take long strides and keep the body stable.
Deterioration of Organs
Heart disease can be caused because of remain seated for long periods of time. Not only Heart diseases but, cardiovascular disease, and colon cancer can also happen. In short, these problems are caused by the overproduction of insulin due to inactivity, and sluggish blood flow to the organs. Therefore, Regular movement helps kill cancer-causing cells, boosting antioxidants that eliminate these free radicals from taking over the body. Overproduction of insulin also causes weight gain, which contributes to diabetes and obesity.
The circulation in the legs will be hindered if you are seated for a long time. This will cause blood to pool around the ankles, which then results in swollen ankles, varicose veins, and even harmful blood clots. Bones become weaker and less dense is another issue that can happen because of prolonged sitting. You can get rid of this situation by doing some regular activities such as running or walking. This will help the bone to be strong and thick. This might explain why so many elderly people today have osteoporosis, as society becomes more and more sedentary.
According to the study, people who watched the most TV over the span of 8.5 years had a 61% greater risk of dying a premature death compared to those who watched less than one hour per day.
SO, HOW CAN WE COMBAT THIS GROWING EPIDEMIC OF INACTIVITY?
Image source: DailyInfoGraphic.com
Here are some ways that you can minimize these issues. First of all, if you DO have to sit for long periods of time for work or other purposes, make sure you sit up straight and avoid slouching or leaning over your keyboard. If you have to, buy an exercise ball, which forces your abs muscles to work and this will naturally keep your body straight. You can also use a backless stool if you want something a little more stable than an exercise ball.
Next, make sure to get up regularly to stretch. How often should you do this? At least once every thirty minutes, according to experts. Get up and walk around your office for a few minutes as well, which will keep the blood flowing and allow your brain and muscles to function optimally.
Thirdly, yoga is the best way to get rid of loads of bad effects in a body. This can help you immensely with keeping the muscles flexible and allowing the mind to relax and decompress from the workday. You can also buy a standing work desk, which will force you to do your work in an upright position. This helps blood and oxygen flow more freely through the body, reducing the risk of blood clots and other dangerous health problems.