How to Reverse the Negative Effects of Too Much Sitting

I recently wrote a series of health related articles for a company’s blog. Due to issues with the website and lack of funding to get the new company off the ground, these articles have not been published. Although I was paid for the work I did I think it’s a shame for my blog posts not to be published or read by anyone. So here is the third one in the series…

How to Reverse the Negative Effects of Too Much Sitting

sitting at desk

Unless you’re in a job which requires plenty of activity, such as waiting tables or door to door sales, the chances are that you may be guilty of spending too much time sitting. You may be wondering: what’s the problem with too much sitting?

The bad news for serial-sitters is that it has been linked to a range of health issues, including:

  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Muscle Degeneration
  • Back and Neck Pain
  • Diabetes
  • Depression

A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has linked prolonged sitting with a heightened risk of serious illness and premature death. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology studied subjects from 1993-2006 to look at the effects of sitting over time. Men who sat for 6 hours or more per day were 48% more likely to die during the course of the study than those who stood for larger portions of the day. The effects were greater in sedentary women, who were 94% more likely to die that their standing counterparts. So it doesn’t look promising for those of us who sit at a desk for eight hours per day at work.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to increase activity in your everyday life, and reverse the negative effects of sitting. For example speak to your company about standing desks. If getting a standing desk isn’t an option, you could try to create your own by piling boxes under your computer. However be wary here as sedentary standing isn’t the best solution – your body will thank you if you move around a little whilst standing. Alternatively tasks which don’t involve use of a computer, such as taking phone calls could be carried out standing.

Try to get out of your chair once every hour whether it’s to stand to make a phone call, visit the bathroom, make a cup of coffee, or speak to a co-worker. Take the stairs instead of the lift where possible. Use your lunch break to go for a walk instead of sitting in the break room, and have a good stretch whilst you’re at it. Walking to work isn’t an option for everyone, so if not then try parking your car ten minutes away to fit in some extra walking before and after work.

Apps and fitness trackers are widely available to track activity to help motivate you to move around as often as possible, and they don’t have to be expensive.

The bottom line is to keep moving. You may think you don’t have the time to leave your desk once every hour, but when the risks are this great you can’t afford not to.

If you already suffer from back or neck pain as a result of too much sitting, Physits is here to help with mobile physiotherapy, massage and dry needling in Melbourne and Sydney to ease away pain. Our highly skilled therapists provide home visits and take the time to understand how best to help you. Get in touch today to find out what we can do for you.

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