We currently live in a world, where the modern type of machines do all of our works. There are 34 million Americans have office or sales jobs and they are sedentary remain for eight or more hours a day.
The average person spends more than half of his or her waking hours in an inactive state such as sitting at a computer, watching TV, commuting to and from work as said in a report published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Technology helps us getting more done in less time, consolidating our efforts, and connecting us to others at lightning speeds. But to mention, it has many drawbacks too.
You’ll have to face problems such as chronic back pain, poor posture, and even potentially deadly diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity when sitting down for a long time.
Here are some specifics of how sitting for a long time can negatively impact your health, according to four experts in the industry:
Brain, Neck, And Shoulder Issues
As we all know, when we work moving our bodies more blood and oxygen flowing throughout the brain. This helps us maintain clarity and keeps our minds sharp. But, this slows the flow of oxygen and blood to our brains by sitting for long periods of time.
Most of us slump forward when we stare at a computer screen. This will put tremendous strain on the neck particularly the cervical vertebrae which connect the spine to your head. When you lean over a keyboard for a long time in a poor posture, it will damage the back and shoulder muscles as they become overextended.
Most of the people have to face issues in their backs due to bad sitting posture. It will cause back pain, inflexible spines and disk damage. When you move around, it causes soft disks between vertebrae in the spine to expand and contract, allowing blood and nutrients in. The disks become uneven and compact, even causing collagen to build up around tendons and ligaments when you sit for too long.
And for those people who spend prolonged periods of time in front of a computer has to face the herniated lumbar disks.
Your ab muscles don’t support your sitting, so, this can actually cause swayback, or the unnatural overextension of the spine’s natural arch if they go unused for too long. You’ll also decrease overall flexibility in the hips and back when you sit for too long. Flexible hips aid in balancing the body, but by sitting too long, the hip flexor muscles become short and tense.
After prolonged periods of disuse, the glute muscles also become soft, and this hinders your ability to take long strides and keep the body stable.
Deterioration of Organs
You’ll also have to face heart disease cardiovascular disease and colon cancer as overproduction of insulin due to inactivity and sluggish blood flow to the organs when you sit for a long time. When you move it helps kill cancer-causing cells, boosting antioxidants that eliminate these free radicals from taking over the body.
Weight gain, which contributes to diabetes and obesity, can be also occurring due to the overproduction of insulin.
It will hinder circulation in the legs too. By sitting too long, blood will pool around the ankles, which then results in swollen ankles, varicose veins, and even harmful blood clots. Bones become weaker and less dense too. You can keep bones strong and thick by regular activities, such as running or walking. As society becomes more and more sedentary many elderly people suffer from osteoporosis.
A study proves that people who watched the most TV over the span of 8.5 years had a 61% greater risk of dying a premature death rather than those who watched less than one hour per day.
So, how can we combat this growing epidemic of inactivity?
- Sit up straight and avoid slouching or leaning over your keyboard.
- Buy an exercise ball to force your ab muscles to work and it will naturally keep your body straight.
- If you want something a little more stable than an exercise ball use a backless stool.
- Make sure to get up regularly to stretch at least once every thirty minutes, according to experts.
- Get up and walk around your office for a few minutes. It will keep the blood flowing and allow your brain and muscles to function optimally.
- Practice yoga. It can help immensely with keeping the muscles flexible and allowing the mind to relax and decompress from the workday.
- Buy a standing work desk. It will force you to do your work in an upright position. This will help blood and oxygen flow more freely through the body and will reduce the risk of blood clots and other dangerous health problems.