If you work in an office, there are high chances that you sit for more than six hours a day. For certain professionals such as accountants, it is possible to sit all day with only short breaks to the washroom and for a quick bite. Some people even go to the extent of ordering their lunch and consuming it on their desk as they work.
While working vigorously is commendable, one should be aware of the dangers of sitting down for long periods. Scientists have been studying the effects of sitting for long hours and the results do not bear good news for office workers. Extended sitting has many adverse effects on the body.
The following are 4 of the most common side effects of sitting all day:
1. Back Aches and Spine Injuries
Many people assume that sitting for long is a good way to relax. While sitting is relaxing, it is only to a certain extent. When one sits for long durations, its places extra pressure on the lower back. The result is a tightening of the muscles supporting the back and is the cause of a recurring back pain. In extreme circumstances, this tightening of the muscles can lead to injury on the spinal lumbar disks which can cause chronic pain and could lead to the necessity of surgery.
2. Low energy expenditure and slower metabolism
When seated, the body reduces its energy expenditure substantially which leads to a slower metabolism. This means that if one continues consuming high energy and fatty foods, the excess fat is stored in the body leading to increased body weight and eventually obesity. When one becomes obese, it affects their blood flow and also increases the risk of developing diabetes.
3. Affects overall posture
As one works while seated, in most cases they lean forward towards their computer. This position causes the pelvic to rotate backwards which eventually exerts pressure on the lumbar disks. One is forced to curve the shoulders to compensate for the shift on weight. If this happens for long, it affects the overall posture of the person.
4. Increased chances of heart disease
For a person used to sitting for long, they tend to have a build up of fat across the body. The effect of this excess fat is blockage of veins which means that the heart has to strain more to pump blood across the body. If this situation persists, it may eventually lead to heart problems especially if the fatty acids clog the heart. In addition, people with obesity problems also experience high blood pressure which further increases the pressure on the heart.
How to deal with the negative effects of sitting
It is a fact that you cannot avoid sitting if your job requires you to. However, taking regular breaks and sometimes a brief walk is recommended to reduce the harmful effects of sitting (learn about more quick remedies). You should also consider a kneeling office chair that is designed to provide easy ergonomics and reduce the pressure on your back. Also known as a knee stool, its sloped seat provides more space for the lumbar disc while relieving pressure on the spine.
A kneeling office chair will greatly improve your posture while providing you with more comfort. If you have to sit for long, you do not have to suffer the adverse effects as long as you understand that you need to take regular breaks utilize a kneeling chair when you must sit.