Are you guilty of spending hours a day sitting on your rear?
Whether you work a desk job or work from home, many people are tied to their chairs to make a living.
Sitting for long periods of time has a lot of health risks. Apart from burning no calories and contributing to weight gain, there are many more serious diseases that could develop over an extended period of time. Let’s have a look at those health risks of sitting too much today and what we could do to live healthier.
The risks of sitting too much
In a recent study, researchers found that sitting all day long increases risk for metabolic syndrome. This is a cluster for a number of diseases, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol levels. In fact, people spending less than two hours a day moving have been found to have an increased risk for heart attacks by 125 percent!
Here some of the other risks of sitting on your rear all day:
This point might seem pretty obvious but many people don’t realize that exercising a few hours a week does not make up for the hours they spend sitting. If you are inactive the majority of your day, your body will adapt by burning fewer calories. Even if you burn a few hundred calories through exercise, that is still not enough to lose significant weight or maintain a healthy bodyweight. Unfortunately, while activity decreases, food intake does not and people often overeat.
Sitting too much decreases blood flow in our body. In addition to that, if you working under stress, the additional cortisol will have negative impacts on your blood pressure regulation and blood sugar levels. Many people with type 2 diabetes are Insulin resistant, which means that their body does not respond to Insulin as well. Whether you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic, increasing blood flow is important to transport glucose to your organs and improve hormonal balance in our body.
Nowadays, most people sit a lot in front of the computer. However, our eyes are not designed to focus on a screen for hours. Maybe you have experienced this yourself: After a long working day, your eyes will feel dry. In fact, people tend to blink less when they are focusing on a screen, which decreases hydration of the cornea, the front part of your eyes.
Did you know that 50 percent of women suffer from varicose veins? Sitting reduces blood flow and , following gravity, most of the blood tends to stay in our lower body.
Especially the hip joints suffer a lot from sitting. Especially females, having wider hip sockets that put more pressure on the hips, experience increased risk for tendonitis and overall weakness of the joint and ligaments. Muscles get tight, especially hip flexors, quadriceps and piriformis, while others are chronically stretched and weakened (glutes, hamstrings). This also contributes to less support for knee-joints and can lead to development of arthritis as well.
These are just the main risk of sitting too much. There are many more, such as the constant pressure on our spine and increased risk for bulging disks.
What can we do now to decrease these health risks and take a step to a healthier every day life?
#NowWeMove – Ditch the elevators
Apart from standing up from your desk every 30 minutes and moving your legs a little – there is another way to get in serious amount of exercise without even realizing it.
Taking the Stairs!
The organization NowWeMove has many different events all around the globe. Today, let’s have a look at one that is going to start soon – No Elevators Day!
No Elevators Day is a pan-European initiative part of NowWeMOVE campaign initiated by International Sports and Culture Association (ISCA) and supporting the European Week of Sport #BeActive.
What is the No Elevators Day?
The No Elevators Day can be implemented anywhere you prefer – in office buildings, shopping centre, apartment blocks, car parks, universities, and other public and private buildings. The general idea of the No Elevators Day is to promote the usage of stairs instead of elevators on an everyday basis.
What else can I do?
You can become an ambassador for the movement by signing up (it is free) and getting access to different sizes banners, posters you can print or use on social media as well. There are many ways to promote this movement and you can get creative! Get your family and friends, your university colleagues involved as well. If you need more information on how to get involved, you can visit their website.
When will it happen?
The official for the european movement is 13.05.2016.
However, if you have a look at their website, there are numerous other events planned for the entire year of 2016 in different countries.
I hope you will think over your daily habits after reading this article and sign up for this event. Make a difference, be a part of this movement and you will feel full of energy and hope and your job performance will increase, as well as your overall health and happiness.
Please make sure to share this article on your favorite social media, tell your friends and family about this event and get them excited. Maybe participating in an event like this is all you needed to form new healthy habits.