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Most of us are already aware of the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. However, there are still individuals who are engaged with this lifestyle because of two significant reasons: too much sitting and very minimal exercise. Every person who would like to experience the benefits of a more active lifestyle should also be able to unfold some facts about sedentary behaviour. Little known to many, sedentary behaviour is a common factor that can lead to alarming health issues.
Sedentary behaviour is interpreted as any activity that utilizes a minimal amount of energy, usually lying, sitting, or reclining. Generally, sedentary behaviour is described as the time when a person is lying down or sitting. Some other common sedentary behaviours include playing video games, watching TV, driving, reading, riding in a bus, using computers, and sitting for long periods.
In a study entitled, “Sedentary Behaviour: Emerging Evidence for a New Health Risk,” it was found that emerging sedentary behaviour is a major risk factor that contributes to cardiometabolic disease and even death. A part of the study’s conclusion stated:
“These new insights into the health risks of sedentary behaviour broaden the accepted perspective on physical activity and health by identifying the need to reduce prolonged sitting and increase light-intensity activities (e.g. standing and incidental walking), in addition to engaging in a regular moderate-to-vigorous activity.”
The same study mentioned that exercise and weight management are needed to reduce prolonged sitting and other sedentary behaviour.
One of the most common impacts of sedentary behaviour is increased BMI and obesity. Such conditions, when neglected, can lead to reduced productivity and increased absenteeism at work. The following are the common effects of sedentary behaviour on your health.
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Computer vision syndrome
- Hair loss and other skin problems
- Spinal disc herniation
- Lipid disorders
Now that we are already knowledgeable of the dangers and risks of sedentary behaviour, let’s focus on avoiding it. Consider the following tips:
#1 Make sure that your workplace promotes health and well-being
It is highly important to organize your workstation into a space that will promote better health and well-being. Make sure it has proper ventilation and equipment that will be used to work comfortably. Consider adding ergonomic tools and devices to help workers in promoting productivity and efficiency. These tools include an ergonomic mouse, sit to stand desk, treadmill walker, and other ergonomic products that are now becoming a common trend in workplaces.
#2 Choose to use standing desks
Standing desks or height adjustable desks are getting popular inclusions in today’s workplaces. These ergonomic equipment aid workers in alternating between sitting and standing at work. This way, they can restrain themselves from being a victim of sedentary behaviour. It is crucial to switch from sitting to standing every after an hour or two to ensure that being sedentary is prevented.
#3 Take breaks regularly
One of the typical reasons why some people are acquiring Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Repetitive Strain Injuries is when they are stuck on their seats and not taking regular breaks. Unknown to many, this can be very risky. Ensure to have regular breaks to let yourself stand or walk. Prolonged sitting can be hazardous to your health as this may lead to common health problems like indigestion, back pain, fatigue, neck pain, and other posture-related injuries. Do some stretchings as well or learn some desk exercises to keep yourself active during break time.
#4 Do some basic and quick exercises
A full-blown workout might not work for a person who has a busy lifestyle (at work or home).
However, you can still do some basic and gentle exercises every day. You may ask a fitness instructor what types of exercises will be best to include in your daily routine.
#5 Choose to stand on doing some activities
According to some reports, an average Canadian spends more than half of each day sitting down. It’s essential to put in mind that sitting for long hours is detrimental to your health. Choose to stand when you’re working on some activities. For instance, stand while you’re talking over the phone. Perform some standing meetings. Stand when you have your coffee break. These activities will undoubtedly help avoid sedentary behaviours.
#7 Use pedometers
You can use pedometers, whether you’re at home or work. There are also other devices similar to pedometers that are available nowadays. Pedometers can help track encourage you to do more movements since it tracks your activity. When you see the numbers and think that you can do more, then you will be more motivated to be more active by making some movements.
#8 Limit the usage of your gadgets
Using gadgets for playing or watching shows is one of the common causes of sedentary behaviour. That is why it will be helpful to limit the use of devices, including computers, TV, tablets, and smartphones. Not only will they lead you to have sedentary behaviour, but they will also cause you not to get a night of better sleep. Some health professionals advise to take away the gadgets from your bedroom since they can just hinder your focus at getting good sleep.
#9 Decide to change your lifestyle
A successful switch from sedentary behaviour to an active lifestyle starts with a decision. Then, once you’ve decided to change your lifestyle, you must have the discipline and be consistent. Choose to walk when a ride is unnecessary, exercise while watching tv, and do other activities that will give you more energy. A change in your current lifestyle can be the start of something that will significantly impact yourself.
#10 Ask advice and tips from ergonomics expert
Asking tips and advice from an ergonomics expert will help you become aware of how you will set up your workplace. He will give you the right information on how to promote safety, comfort, and health in your workspace. From the workstation set up to the best items to be included in your office, everything must be for the purpose of working efficiently while getting rid of sedentary behaviours.
Improve your health and your family’s wellness by making efforts to reduce the times you are sedentary. Evaluate your regular habits and make sure to make the necessary adjustments. Choose to live an active lifestyle, use the proper tools at work, and focus on how you can stay away from sedentary behaviour.