Workplaces Today Have Moved On From Being Active To Sedentary Because Of The Use Of Technology. Additionally, Long Sitting Hours Are Encouraged To Be Productive. But This Change Has Given Rise To Various Health Concerns.
Problems caused by sitting at work for too long
Long sitting hours can increase premature mortality risk and lead to postural problems like strained neck, disc damage, and sore shoulders. Let’s look at the issues in detail:
To complete your work, you must stare at the screen for over 8 hours a day, non-stop! Additionally, there is problem-solving, thinking, and various other mental activities. The excessive use of your brain becomes the source of your exhaustion, even though you have not physically moved much.
Body and back pain
While working long hours on the laptop, you end up compromising on your sitting posture. And an incorrect sitting position puts considerable stress on your back muscles, neck, and spine, leading to back and body pain.
Investing in an ergonomic chair to support your spine and back well is necessary for this scenario. Also, make sure you take regular breaks to walk around.
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is a proverb we all have grown up listening to. Yet we forget this and sit for long hours without any activity.
Reduced physical activity causes you to gain weight as you aren’t burning as many calories in the day. Additionally, you also see an increase in weight due to snacking. For example, staring at a screen all day while sitting is bound to make you feel bored. And so you snack, leading to weight gain.
Metabolic diseases like Diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia
In continuation to overweight and obesity, increased abdominal girth leads to several metabolic diseases like Diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. And these have a massive re-percussion on your lifestyle in the long run and can lead to premature morality.
So, how do you avoid these problems?
Five ways to stay active even with long hours of sitting work
Below are some easy ways to stay active even with long hours of sitting at work.
Walk and talk while on calls
Got a call to attend? Walk and talk! Take your call while walking around your room or office space. In fact, you can even give the dull board room a ditch. Take a walk in the garden with your colleagues when you need to discuss work. Not only will this help you get in the steps, but the fresh air and greenery will make your mind active and your eyes healthy. Even the possibility of snacking on sugar-laden options will reduce with walk-meetings.
Use indoor exercise equipment
With the hybrid work culture, many of us work at least a few days from home. You should maximize this opportunity and get in a quick and easy workout from your favorite heavy duty exercise bike or recumbent bike. Owing to the new working style, many of these types of equipment even come with work desks.
Stand while working on a laptop
Sitting for long periods continuously is terrible for your back, so you can opt to get a lot of your work done while standing. Prop up a table that is right for your height or can be adjusted to avoid bad posture. Standing while working has its benefits:
- Burns more calories as the body is expending energy to stand
- Improves your posture as your body is in a straight alignment
- It keeps the blood circulation going on well
- The mind is focused, and this helps with better work outcomes
Stretch at regular intervals in between work
Make sure you take small breaks from work to help your body and muscles stretch between long sitting work hours. For example, you can perform some stretching exercises that could be done while standing or sitting in your chair. This will ensure better blood circulation, and the muscles won’t be cramped.
Additionally, regular stretching will burn calories and increase your energy levels. This will help maintain muscle and improve flexibility and mental well-being, especially as you age. Even a five-minute break to walk or stretch for every hour you sit is an excellent way to be active.
Sit on an exercise ball while working.
Many of us spend over eight hours sitting down every day. So how about sitting on an exercise ball for a period of that instead? The idea of sitting on an exercise ball instead of a traditional office chair is that the instability of an exercise ball requires you to engage your core muscles. This helps increase core strength, improve posture, decrease back pain, and burn calories.
Sitting for too long can lead to muscle atrophy in the long run, weakening these muscles. Hence, chalk out a routine for yourself and live by it. Set a consistent wake-up time and schedule your work and moving time, whether working from home or the office. You can also make use of health apps to remind you.
The impact of any movement, be it light or heavy, can prevent you from experiencing adverse effects in the long run. And moving even a little daily will do wonders for your body.
Khushali Shah, Co-owner of healthyandkhush.com
Hi, I’m Khushali. I have struggled with weight loss my whole life. However, having lost over 25kgs in the last few years, I have learnt a thing or 2 about weight loss and healthy living. I love to share science-based tips and hacks that have worked for me through my blogs.