It seems like standing desks and walking meetings are both really fashionable at the moment. But more important than the latest trends or work culture ‘must haves’, is the effect that sitting has on your health.
Information surrounding this topic can be conflicting. For example, some reports will say that as little as thirty minutes of exercise will counteract a day of sitting down, whilst other reports will say that if you spend most of your day sitting down, a token amount of exercise won’t undo the damage of sitting for long periods of time.
However, the one overpoweringly clear message is that sitting down for hours every day is detrimental to your health. Statistics from a study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine has even found that adults spending an average of six hours (daily) sitting watching television can expect their life expectancy to be reduced by around five years, in comparison to someone who doesn’t spend any time watching television.
Further research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people who cut the time that they sit to under three hours each day can expect to increase their life expectancy by 0.2 years.
Why sitting is so bad for us
Our bodies were not designed to sit for long periods of time. If you consider that many people sit for up to 15 hours each day, it’s easy to see how your health can be impacted. From burning calories, to musculoskeletal issues, the bottom line is that without regular activity throughout the day, there can be serious health consequences.
Risks of sitting for too long:
- Heart disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- High cholesterol
- Lower back pain
- Muscle degeneration
- Some types of cancer
- Higher mortality
- Bad digestion
How long is it okay to sit for?
One of the most common reasons for sitting for prolonged periods of time is work. Unless you have an active job, many people use a computer to carry out their day to day tasks at work.
The British Journal of Sports Medicine recommends that people should stand for at least two hours during their working day. This does not necessarily mean standing for two hours, then sitting for the rest – it can be broken up into lunch breaks, convenience breaks and even walking to and from the photocopier.
How you can improve your health whilst sitting
If you have to sit down, at least make sure that you are sitting comfortably and in a way, that isn’t going to cause pain and problems to your muscles and joints. For example, ensure that where you sit is comfortable, supporting your back and not causing you to slouch.
Advice about sitting at work
At Positura, we apply decades of experience in chiropractic alongside ergonomic and work station assessments to help you prevent work related injuries, whilst offering treatment advice to help treat the symptoms of any that have already arisen.
To book a postural analysis at home, in your workplace or even for using your car, contact Tracy on: 07794 311201 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.