The Dangers of a Sedentary Lifestyle

You get up and get ready for work. Stuck in traffic for 1 hour. Arrive at work. Sit all day checking and answering e-mails. A meeting requires you to move to another conference room; it was a long meeting. Finally, it’s lunch! You order and ate lunch at your workstation. Get back in the car. Drive home. Prepare dinner. Grab your favourite snack and sit all night on your couch to catch your favourite series. Indeed a very tiring day however if you take a look at it, less physical activity is involved. Even as simple as visiting another cubicle to meet your co-workers was not listed as an activity. Living this kind of lifestyle is not necessarily accompanied by laziness, it is sometimes due to the nature of work and lack of opportunity to exercise.  

What is a sedentary lifestyle?

It is defined as a type of lifestyle when a person does not receive regular amounts of physical activity. But how does not moving regularly take a toll on health? The lack of physical activity is one of the main reasons for the following.

1. Your blood is flowing at a slower pace which can lead to coronary heart disease. 

2. Not moving for a long time? Your body isn’t using as much blood sugar. That is not a good thing as you will develop diabetes.

3. If you remain stationary for too long slow blood circulation can lead to swollen ankles, blood clots, swelling and deep vein thrombosis. It can eventually break free and affects other parts of your body.

4. At work, sitting down for a long time can lead you to trouble concentrating. If you are not moving, less blood is being pumped through. This even slows downs our cognitive function.

5. Sitting all day can develop back pain.

6. Physical inactivity may contribute to anxiety and depression.

7. Sitting can decrease skeletal muscle mass.

8. High blood pressure and elevated cholesterol level are one or few killers for this lifestyle.

There are talks that even if you do aerobic exercise regularly to combat being sedentary, is not enough as a replacement for all those long hours you spend sitting at work or car. Even if you exercise 30 minutes a day, it may not be able to counteract the effects brought by inactivity.

How to prevent a sedentary lifestyle?

1. By merely getting up and walking around the office or a quick stroll outside. Making this habit five times a day is right for your body.

2. Walk over and visit your co-workers a day instead of sending an electronic message. The benefit of this is that it cuts down the back and forth message.

3. Try to commute once a week via train or bus so you can stand and walk at the same time.

4. Park your car a few blocks away from your office so that you can walk one or two blocks from your office.

How does a sedentary lifestyle increase over time?

Modern technology is to blame as it is one the contributing factor for a sedentary lifestyle. While it creates an opportunity for people, the job requires you to sit all day due to changes to our general lifestyle. Fewer people have manual jobs, most of the people own cars and drive. The good news is that it does need you to be this way throughout. One of the factors to increase productivity in the workplace is through standing; a standing desk can help.

What is a standing desk?

The standing desk is a desk that an individual user can work while standing upright. It is a desk used for writing or reading while standing up or while sitting on a high chair or stool. It allows you to work comfortably while standing.

What are the benefits of using a standing desk?

1. Can lower the risk of weight gain. Simply standing alone can decrease the risk of obesity. While exercising is still the best way to burn calories, choosing to stand is more favourable than sitting.

2. It can reduce back pain and improve posture. Many office workers complain about back pain as they sit all day. Standing desk reduces back pain as this prevents you from slouching and hunching over. It also improves your overall core strength that helps in the betterment of good posture.

3. It helps promote blood circulation.  Working while standing does not feel like your merely working because you can move freely. Simply standing helps in the improvement of your blood vessel which gives you an extra boost when you feel sleepy.

4. It improves your mental health. If you are standing for a few minutes or hours, the next thing on your mind is to walk. Standing and walking as a form exercise can help release endorphins which has a positive impact on your brain.

The best way to get on track

A lot of us don’t have the luxury of time to exercise, but it is essential to keep moving. Spreading your workouts throughout the entire week or even take your dog for a brisk walk are some of the few things to get us back on track. Moderate exercise is still the best and can be done throughout the week.