If you are one of the millions of Americans that spend 8+ hours a day sitting and staring at a computer screen, it is time for a change. Sitting all day has been proven to have many ill effects on the human body including:
- Increased Risk of Heart Disease: Sitting for long periods slows down your blood flow which in turn burns less fat causing the fatty acids to begin clogging your heart.
- Increased Risk of Diabetes: Sitting for long periods also makes your pancreas produce more insulin which can lead to diabetes later in life.
- Weight Gain: Compressing your abdomen after eating will slow down digestion causing you to gain weight as well as lead to constipation, bloating and cramping.
- Back Issues: The discs located in your back are able to absorb blood and nutrients by expanding and contracting. Sitting for long period stalls this process causing you to have back pain and decreased flexibility.
- Mental State: Sitting for long periods also as effects on your mood and productivity. This happens because sitting for long periods decreases the oxygen and blood sent to your brain making it not able to function at it’s full ability.
What can you do?
Most people know some of the problems with sitting all day, but believe it is just the way their job is. Here are a few options you can do to combat this problem.
- Take a Break to Stand Once an Hour: Standing for just 90 seconds every hour has multiple positive effects on the body including decreasing your chance of developing diabetes. So get up and do a little dance to get that body moving.
- Do Away with that Huge Water Bottle: Although that new 32 oz. stainless steel water bottle promises to keep your water cold for the next two years, it is decreasing the number of times you get up to fill your water bottle. That walk to the water fountain is one of the healthiest parts of your day at work.
- Fewer Emails and Phone Calls: Instead of emailing Carol in Accounting about where to get lunch today, get up and go talk to her. This will even help you decrease your email clutter…you are welcome I.T. Departments.
- Get a Stand-Up Desk: Another option is to get a stand-up desk which will allow you to stand as long as you want during the day. Most options will allow you to either raise your desk when you want to stand or permanently taller and have a stool for you to sit in when you get tired. Many companies are starting to go this route because these desks are proven to increase health, morale, and productivity.