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There has been a great many technological advancements, which makes our day to day life easier, in the 21st century. This has led to more and more people leading a sedentary lifestyle. They sit for longer durations and this is leading to an increase in lifestyle illnesses. Mainstream workers, all around the world, perform jobs that require them to sit at desks, for upwards of twelve (12) hours a day. They end up being engrossed in their tasks for four (4) or more hours, without even taking a break to stretch their legs. Sales professionals can be guilty of this as well when they are making calls and preparing quotes. Here are 7 reasons to avoid sitting too much.
Greater Risk of Living Shorter Lives
As health care costs increased over the years, health organisations and governments are making a bigger effort to advise people about the risks of sitting too much or leading a sedentary lifestyle. The National Health and Nutrition Examination surveys indicate that people who lead a sedentary lifestyle are more at risk of living a shorter time span than those who are active and exercise often. These findings are confirmed by the American Medical Association (AMA), who promotes that sitting “can be bad for personal health.”
Greater Risk of Developing Diseases
We have always known that people who are less active are at greater risk for developing diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and depression. Cardiologists are now saying that a sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, on the same level as smoking. Also, heart disease is now the leading cause of death for both men and women. The Heart Foundation statistics indicate that 720,000 people in the United States of America suffer heart attacks each year. Of the 720,000 people, 515,000 of them had their first heart attack.
Greater Risk of Obesity
People, who find themselves sitting too much, often suffer from obesity, because they spend little to no time engaging in exercise or frequent movement. Obesity has been gradually on the rise over the years, with many countries, launching national campaigns. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) conducted their annual National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; their findings were astounding.
According to their website, “more than two (2) in three (3) adults are considered to be overweight or obese and more than one (1) in three (3) adults is considered to be obese.” That means that across the world, two (2) billion people over 18 years are overweight and another 600 million are categorized as obese. In order to lessen these trends, doctors are advising their patients to exercise more and spend less time sitting at their desks.
Greater Risk of Chronic Ailments
It has been noticed that of the people who suffer from back, neck and shoulder pain, 20% of them are from work related incidents. People who sit for greater periods of time, put more pressure on their spines, as a result this takes a toll on their backs. This sooner or later leads to improper sitting posture. As such, forty percent (40%) of those who work a desk job come away with back pain complaints.
Coupled with these complaints are neck strain and sore shoulders, which is derived from having to hold your neck and head forward while working at a computer. Your muscles are used to flexing and contracting. This helps them to keep lubricated and prevent stiffness. The more time spent sitting, the greater the risk of developing posture problems, back problems and other muscle strains.
Greater Risk of Muscle Degeneration
The more we move, the more flexible we are and so the opposite is true. The less we move about, the more limited our range of motion. People, who sit more often than they move about, often develop weak abdominal muscles. Our muscles are exercised or contracts when we stand. They are not used during prolonged sessions of sitting. Another risk is a decrease in hip mobility. This is usually seen in the elderly. However, this has become even more prevalent in people who lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Greater Risk of Leg Problems
Many people are familiar with swollen ankles from sitting at a desk all day. This is caused by poor circulation. It can also lead to other issues such as varicose veins, and blood clots known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The more we engage in weight bearing activities, the stronger and denser our muscles become. People who sit more often will find that they lose strength in their leg muscles and run the risk of developing weak bones and even osteoporosis.
Greater Risk of Brain Drain
Did you know that people, who are active, engage their brains in different experiences? This is good for the brain cells and tissues because it transports more blood and oxygen, which is essential for healthy brain cells. This further enhances the release of brain and mood enhancing chemicals; but, those who live a sedentary lifestyle will feel the effects of a shortage of these mood enhancing chemicals. That is why people, who are depressed, tend to stay at home more and prefer to close away by themselves. You will this even more during the winter months, when people are forced to stay inside and might suffer from seasonal depression.
Sitting too much is not good for you. Doctors are encouraging people to exercise more, go outdoors or take a walk. Recently, there are has been more and more Smartphone applications that encourage people to get up from their desks and take more breaks. There has even been the invention of a treadmill desk that allows the user to walk while working at a computer station. Many companies are analysing their workers health claims and are implementing new strategies to counteract the sedentary lifestyle diseases.
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