Any professional who works in an office or uses a computer in their career today likely finds themselves sitting at a desk on a daily basis. While sitting at a desk for extended periods might be necessary, a sedentary job may have an impact on health.
Research has found that sitting all day can have some serious negative effects on even the healthiest employees.
Various studies have shown that prolonged periods of sitting will likely put an individual at an increased risk for developing serious medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and even some types of cancer. Men and women who spend hours seated in their careers, as well as hours of free time spent seated at home are increasing their risk of cardiovascular disease. The longer a person sits throughout the day, the shorter their lifespan may be.
Regular exercise has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, and boost metabolism. Maintaining a sedentary position for hours on end keeps the body too relaxed, which does not allow the muscles to get proper use. As a result, many of the functions in the body slow down, which over a long period of time can lead to health issues.
Weight Gain And Obesity
A person who spends a significant amount of time in a sedentary position throughout the day may find that weight gain becomes an issue. As the body slows down while in a resting and seated position, the metabolism naturally slows down. Calories are burned at a far lower rate when most of the muscles are not in use.
Workers may find themselves snacking at their desk throughout the day, which often means that empty calories are being taken in, but are not burned off. For people who have a demanding career, finding the time to eat healthy meals and snacks may not be a priority, and one’s body weight and overall health can suffer as a result. Individuals who lead a predominantly sedentary lifestyle are more likely to suffer from obesity.
How Long Is Too Long?
A typical office job will have a worker sitting at their desk for at least 8 hours a day, 5 days out of the week. Between work and home, some people are actually spending as many as 13 hours each day sitting. It may seem perfectly fine to get home from a long day of work and unwind with a few hours on the couch, but that only contributes to the amount of time spent sitting.
Getting as much exercise as possible throughout the week and engaging in light physical activity is essential. Breaking up the amount of time spent seated with breaks can help minimize the health risks. Aim to spend less time sitting and more time standing and walking, using the many muscles in the body.
What To Do
Employees who have a career which requires them to spend extended periods of time working at a desk need to be mindful of their activity levels throughout the day. It is important to take the time to stand up and stretch at least once per hour. A quick walk around the office every hour is a good idea.
Engaging in regular exercise before or after work hours simply is not enough, but at least thirty minutes of physical activity per day is helpful. A healthy lifestyle must involve a moderate amount of exercise.
Consider switching to a standing position at work. Many employers are opting to create work stations that allow employees to stand up at their desk throughout the day while working comfortably. Many career choices require employees to spend lengthy periods at a computer, so being informed and proactive about staying active is essential for lessening associated health risks.
Joshua Turner is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to business. In this article, he describes the negative effects to sitting while working all day and aims to encourage further study with an EKU Online Occupational Safety Degree.
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