Posts Tagged ‘sitting disease’
How to Avoid Sitting Disease
We’ve all heard the warnings and the studies about how bad it is for our health to sit all day long, and yet many of us still spend most of our time in a chair or on the couch. For many of us, there’s little to be done about it, especially if we have a desk job that requires us to be sitting in a chair all day, but the price we pay for it can be truly frightening.
“Sitting disease” is a general term for some of the bad health that can result from spending too much time sitting down. Metabolic syndrome is just one example, but many people also experience an increase in joint pain and stiffness, as well as back and neck pain, and a decrease in bone strength and muscle mass as a result of “sitting disease.” So how can you avoid these painful results?
Set A Timer
While exercising is great, studies have found that going to the gym for an hour a day is less important than getting up and moving your body every hour to an hour and a half. It could be as little as getting up to walk around the room or even doing jumping jacks. You can use an app on your phone or computer, or just a good old-fashioned egg timer to remind you to get up every 60-90 minutes.
If your time and/or mobility is limited, you can do some stretches and exercises without even leaving your desk. They only take a few minutes and can even be done while you’re on the phone with a customer (they’ll never know).
Lose the Chair
Losing the chair has become increasingly common over the past few years, whether you replace it with an exercise ball or lose it altogether by getting a standing desk, your body will likely thank you. Standing desks have gained in popularity and they’re great because they make it easy for you to move around when you need to (you don’t need to exert the extra effort of getting out of your chair, which eliminates that excuse for not moving). You can even do some simple yoga positions while you work.
Some people have taken this idea a step further by setting up their computer on a treadmill or stationary bicycle so they can walk or spin while working. If that’s something that appeals to you and you can make it work, go for it. If that sounds a little extreme, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the traditional desk – you just have to make sure not to overuse it.
While desk jobs are certainly dangerous, the amount of TV the average American watches is also a concern, especially considering the fact that most people spend that time sitting down. Next time you turn on the TV, do some stretches while watching your favorite show. It doesn’t have to be a heavy workout, it just needs to be enough to get the blood moving through your body to all your muscles so you don’t have to suffer any of the negative effects of sitting disease.
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