Sitting for long continuous hours is harmful to your health. Medical researchers at Public Health England have warned that prolonged sitting may result in higher risks of suffering from cancer, obesity, depression, and diabetes. Sitting may also cause muscle and joint problems. Working out vigorously before or after does not compensate for the prolonged work sitting hours.
Experts strongly suggest and advise that you should spend at least two hours while standing at work. This duration should then be increased gradually to four hours. Currently, the average office worker spends an average of 10 hours daily while seated either at work or watching TV and surfing the web at home. Nevertheless, researchers have come up with a credible suggestion that they believe can transform your working habits tremendously.
First, you are advised to begin to move, take breaks and stand for at least two hours out of eight while at work. You are then advised to upgrade this duration to four hours. It does not matter how you will do that, what matters is you have to start reducing your sitting hours. Some of the suggestions made to reduce the sitting hours include; taking and talking on the phone while standing. This also enhances your alertness and efficiency while dealing with the calls.
Some researchers believe that sit/stand desks will offer the required increase in standing time. Other researchers propose simple solutions incorporated in the daily activities. The solutions include pacing, walking around, and walking to colleagues desks instead of sending them emails. Also, walking meetings, standing meetings, taking a lunch break and using the stairs instead of the elevator may also serve the purpose.
Standing on a comfort mat also reduces the sitting hours. The secret is all about mixing up different postures. Metabolism slows down 90% as a result of every 30 sitting minutes. The enzymes that move bad fat from your arteries slow down and muscles in your lower body are turned off. After approximately two sitting hours, medical research also reveals that good cholesterol drops by 20%.
To counter all these health complications, just getting up for five minutes after every 20 minutes of sitting is important. Medical research at the Institute of Medicine at the University Centre Shrewsbury also has revealed that sedentary workers are at a double risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type2 diabetes. Also, sedentary workers have a 17% increased risk of dying as a result of cancer. The rise of office work and use of cars and buses has resulted in increased number of people with sedentary lives.
You should engage in a 30-minute moderate to intense physical activity five times every week. The activities will improve your general health and increase productivity at work. Standing and moving around at work is a form of mild exercise and will prevent you from gaining weight. Therefore, standing and moving around will help you to remain healthy while simultaneously increasing your productivity.
If you work at home, the sitting challenge also applies to you. Research has proven that freelancers put in more hours than their office-going employees. You are advised to take time to go for a walk on daily basis and take standing and stretching breaks after every 30 minutes.
(photo credit: juhansonin)