The Physical Impacts of Sitting Too Much
August 24th 2021
As the world adapts to remote learning, and more companies aim to establish remote working conditions, the unavoidable side effect is an increase in the amount of time we spend sitting. While sitting in and of itself is not detrimental to our health, sitting too long can impact our physical well-being. Change Your Pain Kamloops is an interdisciplinary health clinic headquartered in Kamloops, and we want to share three impacts of sitting too much, and three ways to solve that issue.
Sitting too long can pave the way to heart disease diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Combined with a lack of exercise and an increase in convenient easy-to-craft foods, and you have a recipe for extensive medical complications. Not intended to scare you, but these diseases mirror what one might experience from obesity or even smoking.
Though not as clearly understood as the physical ailments associated with sitting for prolonged periods of time, there is a proven correlation between sitting too long and mental health. The chances to develop anxiety and depression and exacerbate current conditions have shown to increase with prolonged periods of inactivity.
Besides what’s under the skin, sitting too long has an impact on your physical appearance. From weight gain to bad posture, sitting too long affects how we carry our weight as our bodies become accustomed to sitting in a chair. This affects our balance, stability, and has the potential to waste away the muscles we use to walk and stand. Extended periods of sitting have also shown to increase the development of varicose veins and spider veins.
Next we’ll talk about the ways you prevent the physical effects of sitting too long.
Set A Timer
Most jobs allow for breaks – which are usually thirty minutes for lunch and two fifteen minutes breaks throughout the day. This time shouldn’t be wasted casually scrolling your feeds or – dare we say it – working through. If you have the chance, go for a walk, stand up, stretch, or if you have the time, grab a mid-day workout session. Whatever you do, set aside some time to remind yourself to get up and get moving. Sometimes, a timer can be utilized to space out a five-minute period of activity every hour. Something is better than nothing.
Make Exercise Part Of Your Routine
One thing is certain, the effects of inactivity can be countered with activity. If you aren’t exercising, you need to. The average adult needs three hours of exercise a week. Just these three hours can stave off some of the aches that come with sitting at a desk for seven hours a day. Increase the amount you exercise to increase the benefit you receive from it.
Set Boundaries At Home
Let’s face it. After work, we’re tired, and the couch calls to us. But think about it, for the majority of people, we just spent hours behind a desk and we’re about to head home and spend a few more hours behind a screen. This increases our risks tenfold since we’ve now extended the amount of time from seven hours and beyond to the time we’re at home. Instead, grab a stroller, a bottle of water, and your favorite tunes and take a walk, bring the dog with you! Let your home be the place you don’t spend time behind a desk.
Pandemic life has pushed people indoors and increased the amount of time spent behind a screen, but it doesn’t have to be painful. If you're experiencing pain because of sitting too much, get in touch with us for an assessment and see how we can help!