The Dangers of Sedentary Life

June 03, 2021

man chilling on couch

You've probably heard about the “sitting is the new smoking” disease that is afflicting our desk-bound industry. A sedentary lifestyle is one where someone does not engage in regular physical activity. A typical inactive individual of the working population may have an inactive job that requires him or her to sit all day and use a computer. Traveling to and from work in a car, bus, or train adds to the amount of time spent sitting.

Sedentary workers may engage in irregular or simple activity on weekends and nights. Still, on the whole, someone who is immobile is more likely to be found sitting or lying down in his or her spare time, immersed in one of the following activities:

  • reading
  • sleeping or napping
  • eating or drinking
  • engaging in non-athletic hobbies 
  • watching TV, sports, or films 

Sitting for extended periods has been related to an increased risk of a multitude of diseases and illnesses. The remarkable thing is that breaking our collective "dependency" to prolonged sitting will not result in the same nasty symptoms of withdrawal as smoking cessation, and the remedy is straightforward: get up and exercise.

Suppose you need to be motivated to spend more standing or walking breaks at work. In that case, our ideal motivator is the positive action that your body will produce as it begins to feel less discomfort and generate more vitality. However, if you need more encouragement to get started or maintain going, these sedentary lifestyle health issues could provide a significant push to adhere to an active lifestyle.

Cancer

Sedentary habits have been linked to some diseases, including breast cancer and colon cancer.

Type 2 diabetes

According to studies, individuals who sit back and watch TV for more than two hours each day have a 20% greater chance of acquiring diabetes. When you sit for an extended period, your blood glucose levels will spike, and your bloodstream will begin to store fat. If you don't keep active, these consequences, together with additional metabolic difficulties associated with extended sitting, will put you in the prediabetes category. Physically inactive lifestyles have been linked to the development of type 2 diabetes. Every 2-hour addition in sitting time per day increases your risk of having the condition by 7%.

Musculoskeletal issues

Lumbar and cervical pain and posture disorders caused by sitting and straining at computer screens are pretty frequent. Back pain and repeated tension are the leading cause of injuries and absences from work. Similarly, problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome can arise due to spending too many undisturbed hours sitting and working at a computer.

A large percentage of office workers experience persistent neck, shoulder, or back pain. A fraction of the blame can be linked to conventional workstations' non-ergonomic structure. Still, a larger portion has been related to the lack of mobility integrated into a standard daily routine. We are designed to move, not sit or stand in the same fixed position for extended periods. Medical professionals have highlighted height-adjustable workstations as an effective remedy to a stagnant workday. They make it simple to modify your posture all through the day. The light activity achieved from these sit-stand adjustments will set you on the path to a more active lifestyle.

Obesity

Increased weight gain, particularly around the stomach, might result from insufficient movement. Cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, depression, and back and joint discomfort have all been related to obesity.

Short life expectancy

Acquiring one or more of the health concerns connected with inactive lifestyles results in a poor quality of life, leading to premature death. If you don't want to rest in peace earlier than anticipated, make absolutely sure you're not already sleeping for too long or too frequently on a couch.

Stroke

Pulmonary embolism or lung clots that originate as deep vein thrombosis or leg clots can be fatal in sedentary persons for an extended amount of time, especially if you are senior, inactive, have just had surgery, or are pregnant. Women are especially vulnerable to leg clots caused by prolonged sitting. Inactivity can raise your chance of stroke by 50 to 75 percent.

Depression and/or other mental disorders

Heavy screen time and TV watching have been related to significant increases in mental pain and depression. Sedentary lifestyles have been linked to various mental distresses, including an increased likelihood of being diagnosed with persistent anxiety and depression. Prolonged sitting combined with excessive screen usage can increase the chance of having a mental health condition by 31%.

Cardiovascular diseases

Sedentary time without interruption raises the inflammatory process in your heart, producing problems with vascular function, blood circulation, and blood pressure. For people who must work 40 hours per week in a regular office, the best alternatives are shifting to an adjustable sit-stand desk or cultivating the habit of taking more breaks standing up, walking, and stretching. It is critical to monitor your prolonged sitting time to safeguard your heart against disorders such as angina, heart failure, and stroke.

How to avoid all these dangers

Take a deep breath once you've processed these grim facts. Small doses of almost any physical activity can go a long way toward restoring your health and lowering your risk of disease and injury all through the day. Here are a few simple ways to include healthy activity into your day:

  • Find alternatives to substitute some walking or biking for the time you spend sitting if you commute by car or public transit. Hop off at an earlier stop and walk the rest of the way to your workplace, or considering biking. If you must drive, try parking further away from the entrance to maximize your total step count. Another good option is to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Perform ten minutes of physical activity per hour.
  • Instead of sitting to watch your favorite shows, try cleaning, moderate exercise on exercise equipment such as a treadmill or exercise bike, hula hooping, or practicing simple standing or floor-based activities. Try FlexiSpot's Sit2Go 2-in-1 Fitness Chair. It's height-adjustable and comes with casters so you can conveniently move it from one spot to another.
  • Sit-stand desks also reduce the number of sitting episodes. Because the shifts between standing and sitting encouraged activity, these decreases in static positions avoid increases in the risk of developing sedentary lifestyle-related illnesses. Even substituting one hour of sitting time per day with standing (for example, at a standing desk or reading a book) could significantly impact. FlexiSpot has the perfect upgrade for your workstation or home office. Check these beautiful standing desks on your quest to get moving:

Esben Standing Desk

Vici Duplex Standing Desk

Willow Solid Wood Standing Desk

Electric Height Adjustable Gaming Desk

Height Adjustable Sewing Table

Height Adjustable Mobile Desk

  • Don't worry if your employer isn't yet eager to accept the long-term benefits of having adjustable sit-stand desks, such as improved focus and improved energy for its workforce. You can track your sitting durations and start taking a standing or walking break every 20 to 30 minutes.

It is as easy as being mindful and cautious about becoming less idle throughout the day to reduce your chance of developing these sedentary lifestyle health disorders. Keep in mind that movement is your buddy. The more you exercise, the more robust you will become. Injuries and procedures can happen to anyone at any age, but if you're fit and happy, you'll be better able to recover and recuperate fast.

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