Sitting is the new smoking.
Yes! It might seem overly dramatic. But many experts believe that this statement might soon be true. Surprisingly more than 80% of adolescents do not meet the WHO recommendations of physical activity globally. Even research revealed that physical inactivity often results in chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, or CRD.
Clearly, this confirms that leading a sedentary lifestyle is very dangerous. So, the less sitting you do, the better are your chances of leading a healthier lifestyle.
Why does everyone keep saying that? Let's find out now!
Decoding The Health Risks of Sitting Too Much
Remember, the human body does not cope well with long periods of sitting. It will work best if you spend some time standing or better moving or walking.
These activities help you with a lot of things⸺digestion, moving blood across the body, and nutrients metabolism. In fact, as per the experts, if you sit for longer, it will put a strain on the neck and your lower back.
This is what happens when you sit too much:
When you sit for too long, your body experiences a number of negative effects. One of the most concerning is that your metabolism slows down, leading to a decrease in insulin sensitivity and an increase in blood sugar levels.
Your body also burns fewer calories, leading to weight gain and increased risk of obesity. Sitting for long periods of time can also cause muscle and joint stiffness, back pain, poor posture, and reduced flexibility.
And it doesn't stop here!
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, it will slow down the breakdown of fats or sugars. Also, a lack of physical activity could even halt the natural repair process. Research confirms that living a sedentary lifestyle also contributes to obesity, metabolic syndrome, blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and the list goes on.
This means if you sit and relax all the time, it will interfere with normal bodily functions.
How Long Should One Sit?
There is no fixed duration for sitting that can be considered safe or ideal as it depends on various factors such as individual health, physical activity levels, and job requirements.
However, experts recommend taking frequent breaks from prolonged sitting, ideally every 30 minutes, to stretch, move around, and improve blood circulation.
It is also important to maintain good posture while sitting and invest in ergonomic equipment to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.
How Can You Save Your Health From The Dangers of Sitting?
If you think your daily routine doesn't allow you to get enough activity during the day, it's not too late to change your way. You need to start by incorporating more activities into your lifestyle.
For instance, you can find ways to be more active at work as well. Or you can walk to your colleagues instead of emailing them everything. You can also enjoy a short walk after your lunch. Try opting for walking meetings.
And when you're home you can try taking part in any of the following activities:
To help you further, here's a step-by-step guide to avoid the risks of sitting too much.
Step 1: Take breaks frequently - try to get up from your desk or chair every 30 minutes or so. Even a quick walk around the office or a stretch can help.
Step 2: Use a standing desk - If you have the option, consider using a standing desk or adjustable desk that allows you to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day.
Step 3: Set reminders - Use a timer or an app to remind you to take breaks throughout the day.
Step 4: Take phone calls standing up - Whenever possible, take phone calls while standing up or walking around.
Step 5: Incorporate movement into your day - Try to incorporate movement into your daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or going for a walk during your lunch break.
By following these steps, you can reduce the amount of time you spend sitting and improve your overall health.
Humans need to stand upright for their systems to work efficiently. For instance, your bowel works efficiently when you are standing or moving. Being physically active will help you to improve your energy levels and endurance.
So, next time you get a chance to take a break from work, make sure not to sit in your chair just because it's comfortable. Start moving and let your body move on with its normal functioning with ease.
After all, taking care of your body is the only way to stay away from constant pains and deadly diseases, right?
So, start including some form of activity in your daily routine and enjoy a healthy and happy life.