The Price we pay for sitting Too Much
Many of us have sedentary jobs and spend most of our days sitting at a desk followed by some more sitting at home.
‘Studies have found that sedentary behavior, including sitting for extended periods, increases the risk for developing dozens of chronic conditions, from cancer and diabetes to cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease’(wsj.com).
Even though it is recommended to take a break from sitting every half an hour and move around for a few minutes, few of us have time for that at work. While standing workstations have been introduced by some companies, standing for long periods can also be harmful. Slouching and leaning can lead to foot and back issues.
‘Research from NASA has found that standing up for two minutes 16 times a day while at work is an effective strategy for maintaining bone and muscle density’.
But interestingly standing and walking seem to be among other things that can help reduce negative effects of sitting.
‘Other research aims to find ways to mitigate the adverse effects of too much sitting. A curious study, published last week in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, looked at fidgeting. The researchers examined data from the UK Women’s Cohort Study, which has followed a large group of women for about 20 years. Nearly 13,000 of the women were asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 10 how much they fidget. Among women who were rated as the most sedentary, those who fidgeted a lot had the same risk of dying as those who weren’t especially sedentary. But women who didn’t fidget had an increased risk for mortality’.
This research may not be entirely conclusive but it definitely proves that it is worth incorporating as much movement into your daily routine as possible. Sadly even a healthy amount of exercise will not cancel out the negative effects of prolonged sitting. Standing on the other hand activates muscles and they are able to absorb excess glucose. Try to incorporate some more walking and standing into your routine by standing at meetings or in public transport. These small changes will pay off by reducing your risk of many dangerous diseases. Share this article with family and friends and help them improve their health now!