As technology become more and more popular, we find ourselves spending the majority of our days sitting. If you work at a desk job, you spend 8 to 10 hours sitting while at work, then you likely sit in your car on your way home where you sit in your living room to watch television, browse the internet or read. You may workout after work or squeeze in 60 to 90 minutes of activity on a day-to-day basis. This type of lifestyle is growing increasingly more common and is referred to as “actively sedentary.”
How Sitting All Day Hurts You and How to Break Your Habits
The body was designed to move and move often. This recent shift towards constant sitting can have a serious impact on not only your posture but also your body as a whole. Here is what is happening when your body is sedentary for extended periods of time.
Your body’s ability to respond to insulin is effected almost immediately from an overly sedentary lifestyle. Insulin is the hormone that allows your body to use sugar from carbohydrates as energy. When your body is excessively sedentary, even for just a day, your pancreas begins producing more insulin.
When you are in a seated position, your intestines compress, making the digestion process harder, thus moving slower. This can lead to weight gain, as well as digestion issues like heartburn.
In addition to a number of other health problems, an excessively sedentary lifestyle has a tremendous impact on your musculoskeletal system.
When your muscles remain inactive, your blood flow slows down. With the decrease in blood flow, your muscles burn less fat. This can have an impact on your weight, your muscle tone and the health of your heart.
It is common for those who sit at a desk in front of a computer or on the phone to lean forwards. This puts a strain on your shoulders, neck and upper back. A seated position also puts more pressure on your spine, causing discomfort even when you are no longer sitting.
This sedentary lifestyle can be a difficult habit to break, so we have some tips to help you get active and break up the long hours of sitting.
Stop Sitting So Much
Set a timer each hour to remind yourself to get up and walk around. Intermittent movement throughout the day gives your health a much needed boost and it gives your mind a break, too, which can increase your productivity.
Spread things out in your office. We tend to put everything we need within an arm’s reach. You can easily add to your daily activity by putting your phone somewhere you have to stand up to reach. Additionally, instead of sending a text or email, get up and take a lap around the office to ask your colleague that question you have.
Set a goal for yourself. Whether you uses wearable technology or a step counter on your smartphone, when you have a daily goal to reach, you are instinctively challenged to reach it.
Take the long way, no matter where you go. Instead of using the elevator, take the stairs. Instead of taking three trips through the parking lot waiting for a closer spot to open up, park in the back. Any chance you have to take some extra steps, take it!
Do some stretches at your desk every few hours. Stand up and stretch your neck, shoulders and hamstrings to keep the blood flowing through your body. It is a quick and easy way to re-energize and it is good for your health to boot.
Long intervals of sitting can have a serious impact on your overall health. With these quick tips, you’ll increase your daily movement and your health will benefit from it.
How Can I Alleviate My Sitting Pains?
If you follow all of these suggestions, you should see some improvements in your overall health. But, if you want to take it to the next level and further alleviate your sitting pains, switch up your workday with a session of massage therapy. Learn more about massage therapy today and see if you can benefit from a session or two.