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Video: Sitting Too Long: Consequences Of A Sedentary Life?
New technologies make our daily life easy. Everything is close at hand. We are happy to not take more than one movement or one step to complete a single activity. Have you ever wondered what causes lower back pain or why childhood obesity is rampant? The answer to back pain and the cure for sedentary living is not to sit still for too long. What are the consequences and how to go about avoiding lots of diseases, read on.
Sitting too long all day: what is the price of this gain of civilization?
Sedentary life is classified as one of the “silent killers” of our time. The less you sit or lie down during the day, the better your chances of living a healthy lifestyle. If you stand or move around during work, you are at a lower risk of premature death than sitting too long at a desk. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, you are more likely to be overweight, develop type 2 diabetes or heart disease, and suffer from depression and anxiety. So what we admit as a privilege or a chance can turn out to be irreversible harm. Can we change for the best?
Professional activities, travel, domestic life, leisure (sport) are conditions that provide opportunities to expand one's physical potential.
How Does a Sedentary Lifestyle Affect Your Body?
"Any movement produced by the contraction of muscles causing an increase in energy expenditure above the expenditure on rest" is considered physical activity. Even a little effort or movement can get you out of the trap of sedentary lifestyle. When standing, the heart and cardiovascular system work more efficiently. The conductivity of the intestines is better. If you are physically active, your overall energy level and stamina improve, your bones retain their strength.
Weaken legs and buttocks muscles
Sitting too long can lead to weakening and wasting of the legs and gluteal muscles. These are important for walking and for stable posture. If these muscles are weak, you are more likely to injure yourself from falls and strain than when you exercise.
Sitting too long makes you fat
Moving your muscles helps the body digest the fats and sugars you eat, while sitting too long makes you fat. If you spend hours in a chair, digestion is not as efficient, so you retain fats and sugars in your body. Before resorting to natural remedies for constipation, take stock of your schedule.
Even if you exercise but spend a lot of time sitting, you are still threatened by health problems, such as metabolic syndrome. The latest research suggests that you need 60 to 75 minutes a day of moderate-intensity activity to combat the dangers of excessive sitting.
Hips and back: sitting still with lumbago
Just like your legs and glutes, your hips and back won't support you as well if you sit for long periods of time. The stagnant position causes the hip flexor muscles to shorten, which can lead to difficulty in movement in the hip joints.
Back problems, especially if you constantly sit with poor posture or don't use an ergonomic chair or workstation. If you do not correct your body position, it can lead to scoliosis of the spine, such as compression of the discs, resulting in very painful premature degeneration: sciatica or lumbago.
If you spend most of your day hunched over the computer keyboard, it can lead to pain and stiffness in your neck and shoulders.
Anxiety and depression
Although research does not prove any links between sitting and mental health, nor between sitting and physical health, it is believed that people leading sedentary lives are at increased risk for anxiety and depression. Perhaps, this observation is due to the monotonous and limited rhythm which lets pass a lot of positive things beside.
Let yourself "get lost" in the streets, licking store windows or if that's not your thing, do housework more often or if that doesn't work either, go out into the park nearby and kiss the trees. Don't frown! Trees will charge you with energy and positive thoughts.
Sitting Too Long and Illness: Is There an Interdependence?
Since the lack of physical activity affects the body in one way or another, one can expect illnesses resulting from this unhealthy lifestyle.
Sitting position and cancer
Although emerging studies suggest that the dangers of sitting include the development of certain types of cancer (lung, uterine and colon), the reason behind this is not yet fully understood. On the other hand, the logic can be simple: the more the body stagnates, the more its functions are embarrassed.
Heart disease and sitting
Obviously, for the heart to do its job without difficulty and blood circulation to be effective, you have to move. Otherwise, sitting for long periods of time is linked to heart disease. One study found that men who watch more than 23 hours of television per week have a 64% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than men who watch only 11 hours of television per week. Some experts claim that people who are inactive and lead sedentary lifestyles have a 147% higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Likewise for inactive diabetics who can develop insulin resistance and raise blood sugar levels. Research suggests that people who spend more time sitting have a 112% higher risk of diabetes.
Varicose veins: an ambiguous problem
Our editorial staff believe that since varicose veins also affect people who sit for a long time and people who stand for hours on end because of their work, the golden medium must be found. So, in either case, to avoid blood pooling in the legs, get moving! In principle, varicose veins are not dangerous, but in rare cases they can lead to the formation of blood clots and subsequently to deep vein thrombosis. It is a blood clot that can break off at any moment, move and cut off blood flow to other parts of the body. If it reaches the lungs, it is called a fatal pulmonary embolism.
How sedentary are we?
According to statistics, physical inactivity contributes to more than three million preventable deaths worldwide each year (or six percent of all deaths). It is the fourth leading cause of death from noncommunicable diseases. It is also the cause of 21 to 25% of breast and colon cancers, 27% of diabetes cases and about 30% of ischemic heart disease.
What is the situation in Europe? Having become the leading cause of preventable death, physical inactivity has dethroned smoking. The World Health Organization makes sedentary life responsible for 10% of deaths on our continent. If at the end of the day, your body feels tired, if you fall asleep quickly, this may be a sign that you have had sufficient physical efficiency.
Stop physical inactivity in the office
If you have to sit in your office chair for several hours, get up and stretch every half hour or so. Touch your toes. Walk around the office.
Unfortunately, the dream office as a collaborative workspace isn't always the top priority for bosses.
How do you incorporate more activity into your day?
We suggest some ways to make physical activity part of your day and increase your efficiency in relation to the body.
- Walk 30 minutes a day or cycle.
- Do not use the car at close range.
- Go up the stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator.
- Get off the bus one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way.
- Park further from where you are going and walk the rest of the way.
- Calculate the time it takes you to walk a mile - you may find that you can reach your destination faster on foot than if you wait for public transport.
If you are new to physical activity or have a health problem, talk to your doctor before starting anything. The specialist will advise you on the most suitable type of exercise and offer you ongoing support.
- Go ahead and talk to your coworkers instead of emailing them.
- Take your lunch break away from your desk and enjoy a short walk outside if you can.
- Organize walking meetings.
- Don't miss your outdoor workout, weather permitting.
- Do some gardening if you have a few square feet.
Indoor activities if the weather is not favorable
To reduce your sedentary behavior you have a wide choice of indoor activities. Either yoga poses for back pain or swim in an indoor pool. A good idea certainly is to dance while singing along to your favorite songs. If you have the option of outfitting a cardio space in your home or office, don't hesitate to find the best cardio machine.
Here are some simple ideas to get you moving while you're at home:
- Tidy up to diversify the type of movements: stretching, folding, balance.
- Set your TV's timer to go off an hour earlier than usual to remind you to get up and move.
- Take a walk when you are on the phone.
- Get up and iron the clothes during your favorite TV shows.
- Rather than sitting down to read, listen to recorded books as you walk, clean, or work in the garden.
- Get up while you read emails or reports.
- Move the trash can away from your desk so you have to get up and throw anything in.
- Use the speakerphone for conference calls and walk around the room during calls.