We sit a lot, and we usually don’t take the time to think about how much we are actually sitting. In the car every morning and afternoon we sit during our commutes, we sit all day in the office at our computers, and then we go home to eat dinner and plant on the couch.
While we enjoy our Netflix binges, play video games, or hammer out reports at work, we don’t take into account how much bodily harm is caused by chronic sitting, but the health effects are actually almost as bad as smoking.
Adverse Effects From Sitting Too Much
There are many conditions linked with too much sitting, including cosmetic issues such as weight gain, varicose veins, bad posture, and bloating.
Sitting for too long can also lead to blood clots, neck and back pain, high blood pressure, and certain cancers like breast or colon cancer. Sitting for too long strains the heart and blood vessels, which have to work harder to circulate your blood.
Less blood flow to the brain can cause a lower rate of productivity, anxiety, and tension headaches.
How to Move More
If you work out a few times a week for 30 minutes or more you may think that you move enough to avoid issues associated with chronic sitting, however exercising isn’t enough if you’re still sitting over 8 hours a day.
To avoid complications from over-sitting, you don’t have to adopt a crazy new diet or exercise routine. Simply get up and get moving. Stand up and stretch about every 30 minutes or take a brisk walk every hour.
At the office, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and take a nice walk during your lunch break. Also, instead of emailing your coworkers take a trot over to their desk.
Take advantages of opportunities to walk. For example, roam around while you’re talking on the phone, or take a short walk around the block to aid in digestion after dinner.
While watching tv, stand up during the commercials, or take a walk around the house during commercials. You can also stand up while working on a project of work, or while typing a quick email at your desk.
The Benefits of Moving a Little
Moving a little can get your blood pumping to help you boost your metabolism and burn fat while building lean muscle and decreasing joint pain.
Stretching and taking short walks frequently during the day can help to improve cardiovascular health and boost the immune system.
Increased blood flow that carries more oxygen to the brain lowers the rates of depression and anxiety. By moving and stretching you’ll be amazed at how much your productivity increases.
Plus, standing up straight can improve your posture and reduce amounts of back and neck pain.
Some experts suggest using a pedometer or fitness tracker to see how many steps and how much you move a day to motivate you to add more movement to your life.
Standing, stretching, and walking a little is a total body workout, both mentally and psychically. Try to meet the goal of having at least 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity a week for good health results.
Allison Barfield is a content writer for Span Enterprises and has been writing since she first learned to hold a pencil, shortly after birth. After graduating from the University of South Carolina in 2013 with a B.A. in media arts she fell in love with marketing. She's been copy writing and managing multiple blogs ever since.