“I am working out, so I don’t need to do anything. I am fit.” Well, if you too are following the same then guess what, it is a wrong belief. Working out an hour in the gym will never make up to the 9 hours of sitting you do a job.
Sitting for long hours is a slow poison for your body. It slowly is damaging your joints and overall health inch by inch daily without even your awareness. You may say your job has a lot of fields work and hence there is a lot of moving so you are safe. Unfortunately no, sitting doesn’t only involve a desk job, it can be any sedentary activity like watching television, working on the computer at home, or playing games on laptop or smartphones etc.
If you are wondering how can sitting which means resting to you can do harm to your health then, here are the damages long hours of sitting can do;
- Weight gain
- Chronic back pain
- Stiff shoulder, neck and hips
- Heart diseases
- Anxiety and depression
- Short life span
- High blood pressure and cholesterol
- High diabetes and cancer risk
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Weak leg and glutes
- Varicose veins
Why working out in a gym can’t counter long sitting hours?
Whatever exercise you do for an hour at your gym, can never cope with the sitting you do the whole day. It undoes all your effort. Due to long hours of sitting, the electrical activity in the leg muscles shuts off and whatever number of calories you had burned at the gym, drops to one per minute, and the enzyme production that assists in breaking down fat drops by 90%. Also, after two hours of long sitting, the good cholesterol drops by 20% which is why cardiovascular disease is common among deskbound workers.
How to break the long sitting habit?
Of course, you can’t leave your job just because it is unhealthy to sit for long hours but, you can always make the sitting healthier by practicing the following;
- Stand as much as you can. If possible stand and work and also conduct your meetings and tea breaks while doing so.
- Avoid sending internal emails or using chat options. Get up and talk to your colleague in person. Doing so, will keep you and your internal relations healthy.
- Say no to lifts. Use stairs, try to walk as much as possible as park your vehicle a bit far away so that you walk to your office.
- If you keep on forgetting to get up and move in between, keep alarms. It will remind you to take a break from a long sitting position.
- Make use of your lunch break well. Rather than sitting and gossiping or checking out mobiles. Take a walk. Breath fresh air and relax.
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration can also cause your joints to ache and become stiff and due to constant sitting on computers, we often forget to sip water. Keep a bottle with you to make sure you get enough water for your body.
- After reaching home, don’t become a couch potato. Yes, you can relax a bit but avoid sitting again on your laptop or in front of the TV. Do your chores, play with your kid, engage yourself in some physical activity.
- Keep an electrotherapy machine like SONICTENS always with you which is extremely lightweight, portable and very much effective in treating all kinds of joint pain. Its electric impulses will stimulate the blood flow shooing away the stiffness and numbness from your joints.
Or the minimum you can do at least is to stretch. You can always take a stretch while at work as it requires no effort of time. You can check out our 5 easy desk-based stretches to ease your back pain due to sitting too long.