It’s very common in this society where everything is made available to people with little physical work on their part to be able to identify an increasing number of diseases and causes of death that can be attributed to the sedentary lifestyle many people lead. Day-to-day, people travel in their cars to work, then sit at a desk, only to get back in their car and drive home to sit on the couch until it is time to go to bed. Many people just accept that this is the norm and don’t give much consideration to the devastating toll this could be taking on their health.
Decrease in Longevity…
In a survey conducted recently, it was noted that many people are seated for upto 12 hours each day. The sad truth is that people who spend large amounts of time seated may live 2 years less than their more active counterparts. It has also been stated that sitting for an extended period increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, high cholesterol, and obesity.
When you are seated for a long duration day after day, it interferes with your body’s ability to produce insulin. Insulin regulates and helps to lower the amount of glucose within the body. Normally the body is quite good at breaking sugars down into glucose which is then distributed and used to fuel the body’s many activities and functions; however, when this system begins to breakdown the result can be high blood glucose levels, which can lead to diabetes.
Obesity is a growing problem, among adults and even more sadly, among children. The reason for this is overeating, eating the wrong types of foods, and of course inactivity. Everyone knows that your body needs to burn calories in order to work of the food you eat, otherwise it will be stored as fat. The good news is that solid research suggests that standing for one hour can burn approximately 50 calories more than what your body would burn if you had remained seated.
Those who exercise regularly are probably thinking that the few hours spent in the gym each week will be sufficient enough to combat these concerns…truth is, it’s not enough. Some researchers have found that prolonged sitting can cause issues in active people much the same as in the sedentary portion of the population.
This may leave you wondering how exactly you can go about fitting in a little less seated time.
- Try to stand up more…seems simple enough, right?
- Stand up when you are talking on the phone, this will give you some time to stretch out and get the blood pumping to your extremities once again.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Park a little farther away to get in some extra walking on your way to the office.
- Wear a pedometer and challenge yourself to take more steps each day than you did the last.
- Instead of emailing off a question to someone within the office, get up and go ask them.
Small changes can make a big difference.
The final thing that may help is analyzing your office designs. See if there are small changes you can make in order to make the time you are seated more healthful. This means taking into consideration the posture that you have when at your desk. When you have good posture your back feels the benefits, but your bodily systems do too. By making changes to your activity level you will feel a positive difference in your energy levels and paying more attention to your nutritional needs, you too can have a long and healthy life.