In our modern world, the majority of us spend a great deal of time sitting, whether this is in front of a desk at work, relaxing on a sofa, or sitting and scrolling through our phones. For many of us, sitting has become the natural way of being, and this is not the best news for our health.
While there is nothing wrong with sitting down for a rest when you are tired, or relaxing in the evening, sitting for too long each day can contribute to a number of health issues, including obesity, joint issues, and increased risk of conditions such as blood clots.
To help you stay safe and healthy, it is important that you incorporate regular movement into your daily routine, and that you are not sitting for extended periods. Want to learn more? Then read on to learn how a sedentary lifestyle could be damaging your health.
What Are The Risks of Sitting?
Sitting for too long can put you at increased risk of a number of health issues, including:
1. Obesity. A sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of obesity; if you do not burn off more calories than you consume in a single day, you will start to gain weight. Sitting is an activity that burns very few calories, and so prolonged sitting can cause serious weight issues.
2. High blood pressure. Your blood pressure can also increase as you sit for extended periods of time, and this is due to your metabolism slowing down. This can also have an impact on weight gain.
3. Joint pain. When you are sitting, you are placing pressure on your knee and ankles, and this can result in issues with joint pain and stiffness.
4. Blood clots. Sitting for a long period also impedes the flow of blood, and this can put you at increased risk of blood clots and strokes.
How Can You Reduce The Amount That You Sit?
As we have seen, extended periods of sitting can cause you serious health issues. But there are a few steps you can take to help reduce your risk.
1. Schedule time to stand. If you are working at a desk, set a timer to go off after 30 minutes. When the timer goes, stand up, no matter what you are doing, and stretch your arms above your head, shake your hands, and, if possible, walk a few steps around the room.
* This will reawaken your body, and keep your blood flowing evenly. It is also a good idea to take a walk in your lunch break – even a short walk will see you reaping the benefits.
2. Get a standing desk. Investing in a standing desk is a great way to combat a sedentary lifestyle, and can also improve your focus. You can opt for an adjustable model, which allows you to stand and sit as desired. This is a great way to keep moving.
3. Remember to stretch. No matter how busy you are, take a few moments at the start and end of your day to stretch your body. This gets the blood moving, and negates the negative effect of extended sitting.
While taking some time to sit and relax is always a good thing, it is important that you also take the time to move and stretch, to keep your body and mind healthy and strong.