The human body is composed of approximately 206 bones and 640 muscles that are made to move. Today’s advanced technology has created an environment that encourages the sedentary behavior. People now spend their most of the time in a chair watching TV, playing video games, reading, banking, shopping, or eating a meal at a table. A Recent study shows that too much sitting during the day is not good for a person’s health.
The situation is worse for office workers. They have to sit for more than 75% of their work hours. People, who work in the office, sit for more than half an hour at a time. Sitting for long during the day can have a bad impact on an individual’s health.
Sitting for hours is harmful
According to studies, total sitting time contributes to the risk of dying from all causes. Sitting too much can especially lead to type 2 diabetes. Sitting for long hours, also linked to problems like cardiovascular events, obesity, and certain types of cancers. The human body has a tendency to adapt to its usual level of activity. Like, it adapts to regular physical exercise. Similarly, the body can adapt to inactivity as well. A lack of regular physical activity means the body does not require a higher fitness level. In this way, the muscles become inactive, which cause changes at the cell level. These changes worsen levels of fat, sugar, cholesterol, and insulin in the body. This results in the increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.
Studies show that there is a strong relationship between sitting and all health problems, even if people are fulfilling the need of minimum physical activity guidelines. Therefore, physical activity does not reduce the negative effects of too much sitting during the day. The highest risk of health problems is seen in people who spend most of their time sitting. Research suggests that interrupting sitting with light activities such as standing, walking, jumping, is necessary for preventing the adverse effects of too much sitting. Use of modern techniques like height adjustable standing desks as well as the addition of physical movement during the working hours in an office can help you reduce the extended period of sitting.
Why sitting too much is a health hazard?
Everyone wants to know why too much daily sitting is not safe. Researchers believe that sitting for long hours impairs the ability of the body to deposit fat content from the bloodstream into the body. This constantly raises levels of fat in the blood stream are a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, scientists have noticed that too much sitting interfere with the functioning of healthy cholesterol (HDL). HDL helps in cleaning the plaque sticking to the arteries. If HDL is unable to perform its function, it will also increase an individual’s risk of cardiovascular disorders. Prolonged sitting can lead to contraction of muscles, which has been shown to reduce insulin sensitivity. This, in turn, doubles the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. According to experts, involve more in daily activities, in addition to getting half an hour of exercise on a regular basis, is essential to decrease the risk of developing life-threatening diseases such as type 2 diabetes and other health related issues.
Simple tips to reduce your sitting time
Here are some easy tips that will help you reduce the sitting time at home and workplace:
- While watching your favorite show on television, try to get off the couch, walk around the house, or you can just stand up and move during commercial intervals.
- Involve in household chores such as ironing, folding clothes and setting your almirah, washing dishes, or cleaning your room, while watching television.
- Avoid using modern techniques for cleaning your car. Try to wash your car by hand.
- Make a habit of moving around the house while talking on the phone, checking emails, text messages, etc.
- Make sure that you take a break from your computer every thirty minutes of your working hours.
- Make a habit of standing while greeting a visitor at your workplace.
- Avoid using lifts, instead use stairs as much as you can.
- Stand while talking on phones and always walk to your colleague’s desk instead of emailing them.
- Keep on hydrating- consume more water, go to the water cooler every time to drink water. Going to the water coolers and toilets to break up sitting time.
- If possible, use a height adjustable desk so that you can take a break from sitting and also stand while working on your table.
- Move your dustbin away from your desk so that you can walk whenever you need to put something in it.
- While attending a long meeting, it is necessary to take breaks. Take water breaks after 30 minutes.