If you’re working at a typical office job, you probably spend most of your day sitting down. Even if you don’t, you probably spend a fair amount of your time doing it – watching TV, driving or eating at restaurants for example. Obviously sitting is a necessary thing for humans to do – we can’t stand up for 24 hours a day after all! The problem today is just how much time we’re spending (literally) on our asses. We’ll highlight some of the most pressing reasons to get up out of your chair today.
You’ll pile on the pounds
This ones pretty easy to figure out – less time using your body, more weight gained. Even everyday movements – walking or standing – burn some calories. Spending most of the day sitting down lowers the amount of calories your body burns at rest, meaning that you’ll be slowly gaining weight without even realising it. Studies have even shown that those who are often sedentary are more likely to suffer from obesity!
You’re straining parts of your body
Namely your back and your nerves. Even if you know and use the right posture when you’re sitting, as the day wears on and your email inbox gets fuller, the temptation to slouch becomes stronger. The problems comes from your spine literally being compressed as you sit – crushing your lumbar discs together. Your spine is practically begging you not to sit, as it can lead to chronic lower back pain. Your nerves are getting a bad rap too – sitting for too long can result in strained nerves and muscle spasms!
You’re not using some other parts
Your muscles want (and need) to be used – so parking yourself on your bum all day doesn’t do them any good! Unless you’re literally sitting for 24 hours a day (even though work can feel like that long) your muscles aren’t going to completely waste away. The problem is long periods of uninterrupted sitting – when you finally use these muscles again you may experience pain – hello sore legs!
You could be opening yourself up to disease
A scary thought, I know. More and more research is backing up the theory that a sedentary lifestyle leads to increased risk of disease. Inactivity has been linked to increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and higher bad cholesterol. What more reason could you need to get moving?
How to negate the effects of sitting down
If you’re stuck sitting down for a big chunk of your day, don’t fear! There are really easy things you can do to counteract some of the bad effects you’ll get by staying sedentary. Remember though, we aren’t saying all sitting is evil – you don’t need to be jogging all day!
- Make an effort to take the stairs instead of an elevator
- Get up and walk around your workspace every 30 minutes – grab a drink, see a co-worker – anything!
- Stand on public transport
- Instead of sitting in front of the TV, try some more active pastimes – you can usually still watch TV at the gym!