Modern living encompasses a lot of sitting activities in our daily activities. Be it sitting at your 8-hour desktop job, spending time with friends, watching TV, or an addiction to the gadgets that mostly kids and youth tend to get addicted to, i.e., video games and social media. Each and every activity involves sitting. Continuously sitting non-stop for hours playing video games can cause problems due to sitting as well as affect the eyes. Sitting problems include backache, laziness, heart diseases, mental stress, obesity and what not. Though a tremendous dedication towards work is crucial for a better career and livelihood, there are situations where excessive sitting causes health issues in the humans. This is why we call sitting is the new smoking. Let us find out different harmful effects of sitting and understand how to overcome them:
Dangers of sitting for long hours
- Organ damages
Sitting is considered as the new smoking for it causes organ damages to the heart, pancreas and increasing risks of colon cancer. The blood flow slows down and burns less fat resulting in increased fatty acids clogging your heart. This further may lead to heart diseases. Excessive sitting also evades the ability of the body to respond to insulin resulting in diabetes.
- Digestion issues
If you sit after your meals, it compresses the abdominal contents slowing down your metabolism. This further results in bloating, cramping, heartburn, constipation, etc.
- Brain Damage
If you do not move, your brain tends to function slowly. This is because it gets less of fresh blood and oxygen while both are necessary to prompt the discharge of mood enhancing chemicals.
- Posture problems
While we hold our head and neck forward to work on the computer, we tend to put a strain on our cervical vertebra causing pain in the neck, shoulders and back.
Ways to Overcome the Danger of sitting
- Involve physical movements at work
Physical movements may be like climbing stair instead of using an elevator. Drink a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated. It will also bring frequent movements while you want to use the washroom. These small changes and body movements shall keep you active as well as avoid pain due to excessive sitting.
- Set alarms
Buy an interval timer or set alarms on your phone for every one hour. While at work, get up every time the bell rings and start jumping, doing squats, simple movement, etc. in your room itself. This again ensures constant movement.
- Walk after your meals
Each time you eat something, make sure to have a 10-minute walk. You could utilise this time walking and talking over the phone is you find a pending call or to freshen up your mind from the hectic work you got to do.
- Avoid watching TV and being a couch potato
We usually watch TV for entertainment purposes. One can plan to go out with friends, play some outdoor games or go for a walk listening to music for entertainment. This helps you stay fit, enjoy more and avoid problems caused due to excessive sitting.
- Stand and call
Whenever you make a call or are talking over the phone, make sure you stand the same time. You could even walk if it has to be a long call. But every call should consist of your movement of the body to avoid pain and damages to the body.
It is amazing how small movements in our daily tasks could be a support to excessive sitting at work. Minor changes in our habits could help us lead a healthy lifestyle. One does not always require moving to a gym or working out for a long number of hours to stay fit. It is only the good diet and these minuscule changes that can impact to a healthy and a happy life! If you are suffering from major issues due to sitting for longer hours, it is always suggested to visit a doctor.