It’s been known for some time that leading a sedentary lifestyle is dangerous. Over time it catches up with you, leading to obesity or other health problems and weakening muscles, making you older than you are. We now know that it isn’t just this kind of lifestyle that is dangerous. Simply sitting for too long in the day can lead to dire consequences.
The Mental Impact Of Sitting For Long Periods
Many people believe that sitting for long periods is bad on the body but is good for the mind. After all, don’t most people study and learn while they’re sitting? What makes sitting so bad for your mentality is that it often leads to over-thinking, which is a predecessor to depression.
As you sit and ponder and become discontented about something we read or see on television, the brain fixates on that and it is often easy to become angered or saddened; these thoughts have an effect on the chemicals that are released in the brain. Over a period of time, these chemicals are thrown out of whack and you start to exhibit the physical signs of depression.
Sedentary Jobs Affect your Health
In the realm of careers, desk jobs are among the most common. It is not unusual for many of to sit for seven of their eight working hours. After work you probably go to the gym or take a jog. If you’re a parent you probably don’t sit down the rest of the evening. But this is not good enough for your body. A 2009 study conducted in Canada concluded that people who spent a lot of time sitting were at a higher risk for death than those who had a job requiring active movement throughout the day; this was independent of exercise.
Disease Risks and Sitting
Not only can sitting for long periods during the day be bad for your overall health, it can lead to an increased risk for disease. Sitting for long periods of time can cause the body’s chemical structure to change. The metabolism slows down, which can affect how you eat, which can also lead to how your body manufactures insulin, leading to Diabetes.
A study finished in 2014 also showed that too much sitting can result in an increase in your chance of getting cancer. For every two hours that you spend sitting in front of the computer or your television, you are raising your risk of getting colon cancer by 8 percent, lung cancer by 6 percent, or endometrial cancer by 10 percent.
Changing Your Future
While quitting a sedentary job is not an option for most people, you can turn even the all-day desk job into something more healthy by taking frequent breaks and doing simple exercises at your desk to improve circulation. Many sites advertise leg or arm lifts that you can do at your desk to stay moving throughout the day. Other ideas that might make your long day a little less dangerous include:
- Exercise during your breaks and lunch. There are simple five-minute routines that can vastly improve your sense of well-being as well as your muscle tone.
- Spend more time in active pursuits. Join a fitness class or plan an evening walk so you’re not tempted to go home and directly to the television or computer.
- Be aware of how much you are sitting each day and change up your habits if you need to. If you’re used to coming home after work and lounging on the couch all night, think about how you can add a healthy activity into your evening.
The little things that you incorporate into your work day can make a huge difference to your overall health now and in the future.