5 Reasons You Should Avoid Sitting Long Periods At Work

Avoid Sitting Long Periods

Our lives are becoming increasingly comfortable and sedentary due to advances in technology. Our day to day tasks are becoming ever so easy and rarely require any physical activity on our part.

However, most people are not aware that sedentary lifestyles can cause many health problems in the long run. Sedentary behavior like prolonged sitting can cause obesity, diabetes, back pain, and so on. It can also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Despite health risks, most of our time is usually spent sitting rather than standing, whether in the car, at home, or at work. At work, especially for people with desk jobs, sitting 7-8 hours a day is unavoidable. 

But suppose you want to prevent the health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle and lead a healthy life. In that case, you should avoid sitting for long periods, especially at work. It would help if you tried to take breaks to stand up, move frequently, and incorporate some physical activity.

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Here are five reasons why you should avoid sitting long hours at work –

1. Increased Risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease 

As mentioned earlier, prolonged sitting can lead to several health problems, including heart disease and diabetes. Sitting too long slows down blood circulation and increases fat build-up in the blood vessels. Also, it can increase insulin resistance and cause type-2 diabetes as a result.

A 2011 study conducted by Loughborough University and the University of Leicester, found that people who sit for long periods had an increased risk of diabetes and heart diseases than people who don’t. 

2. Unwanted Weight Gain

If you sit hours after hours at work, you might be at risk of obesity and unwanted weight gain. When you sit for long periods without any physical activity, your body’s metabolism slows down, and very few calories are burned.

Adding to that, unhealthy eating behavior and mindless snacking can cause a significant amount of unwanted fat and weight gain.

Also, prolonged sitting has been shown to increase waist circumference, which is linked to a higher risk of type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and more. 

3. Increased Discomfort and Pain

You might associate sitting with relaxation and comfort, but in reality, too much of it can put a lot of stress on your muscles and joints.

When you sit, your spine gets compressed, and this can cause a lot of discomfort and pain in your neck and back muscles. Also, most people at work sit while being hunched over their keyboards, which can lead to pain as well.

Increased pain can hinder your ability to perform at work and affect your productivity. It can also cause you to miss work altogether.

4. Higher Risk of Stress and Mental Problems

Besides physical health, sitting too much at work can affect your mental wellbeing as well.

Your brain requires a steady flow of oxygen and optimal metabolism to function correctly. As mentioned earlier, sitting slows down your blood circulation and metabolism, which can prevent optimal brain functioning. This way, it can cause stress and affect your ability to focus at work.

Also, prolonged sitting has been linked with an increased risk of depression and other mental health problems.

5. Increased Risk of Death

Sitting too much can increase your risk of early mortality, even if you exercise regularly or eat healthily.

A 2017 study found that long sitting periods can be a risk factor for an early and untimely death.

If you sit all day at work, you are more likely to fall victim to health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Such diseases can affect the quality of your life and also shorten it.

Final Words

Sitting for prolonged periods at work can be very harmful to your mental and physical health. While you cannot avoid sitting altogether, you can ensure not to sit for long hours at a stretch. Keep reminders to get up from your chair every 30-45 mins. Take a walk, stretch, or do an office exercise. Incorporating some physical activity into your daily work routine can help you avoid the adverse effects of sitting. 

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