While we don't like to focus on bad health, you should understand the dangers of sitting the majority of the workday. In a job market where 45% of workers work from home at least part-time and most new jobs are digital, it’s no surprise that more and more people suffer the side effects of prolonged sitting. You’ve probably heard that sitting in your office chair for eight or more hours a day isn’t doing wonders for your health. DIY Genius puts it pretty bluntly: your desk job is killing you.
If you spend your entire workday seated at your desk there are a myriad of health problems that can arise. Here’s a quick breakdown of the dangers of sitting at your desk and how your desk job might be harming you:
Sitting Leads to Obesity
This is probably the most obvious side effect – if you spend your workday seated instead of actively moving around, you’ll gain weight over time. As office jobs have increased, the obesity rate practically doubled between 1980 and 2000 as the average time spent sitting per day increased by 8%. People who are obese sit, on average, 2.5 more hours per day than a healthy person of the same age. Sitting down adds some pounds – and without proper diet and exercise it can be damaging to your health.
Tip: If you don't have a standing desk, walk on your breaks as often as you can and stand and stretch even more frequently.
Sitting Depletes Brainpower
We know you’re a whiz at your job, crunching numbers every day and writing your assignments and compiling your projects in your unique way. But even when your brain is actively engaged you’re not properly caring for that vital organ. Sitting at a desk deprives the brain of much-needed oxygen and blood. Several mood-enhancing chemicals are only released in the brain during periods of movement and exercise – you’ll run out of brainpower if you stay seated.
Sitting Degenerates Your Muscles
Very few muscle groups are actively engaged when you’re sitting down. Even if you use a standing desk you’ll be activating your core and engaging the muscles in your abdomen and back. In addition, remaining seated all day greatly reduces the amount of flexibility you have in your hips. You’ll rapidly diminish the full range of motion in your hips if you rarely extend them. Overall, sitting at a desk speeds up the muscle degeneration process which in our book is one of the biggies in the dangers of sitting.
Sitting Can Cause Cardiovascular Problems
When you’re seated for eight hours (or more) a day the blood in your veins stops pumping as fast and your muscles are able to burn less fat. This combination makes it easier for fatty acids to clog the arteries of your heart, which can lead to cardiovascular trouble. In addition, your pancreas may produce more insulin when you sit at work all day, which can cause diabetes. High blood pressure is also linked to prolonged sitting – all in all, desk jobs are plain dangerous!
The Solution – A Standing Desk
When you work in an office you can’t exactly get away from your computer. But you can modify your desk for optimal health. Switch to a standing desk to avoid the health problems associated with excess standing. A Wurf board can enhance your standing desk by actively engaging your muscles via micro movements throughout the day, relaxing your body, improving your posture, and burning more calories than when you simply stand.
Sitting isn’t just bad for you because it’s not exercise – sitting actively harms your body in a variety of ways, which over time can lead to disaster. Avoid sitting at a desk all day by switching to a standing desk or limiting the amount of time you spend at a desk in one sitting.