Sitting disease is a new term that refers to the poor effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle. Sedentary simply means being in an inactive state for longer periods of time. Research shows that two-thirds of the North American workforce sit for all or part of their workday. On top of that, on average, sitting takes up more than half an adults waking hours. Now, the newest research says, “for people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking.” How scary is that?! Sounds like it is time to get up and MOVE!
Many people assume that labour or manual workers are the ones to experience aches and pains after a long day at work but desk workers also suffer from a great deal of neck, upper back and shoulder pain.
If you break up those long periods of sitting you can reduce your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, muscle stiffness and joint pain. When you don’t change your posture frequently throughout the day, you’re more likely to experience discomfort.
For desk workers, many employers have begun adding Standing Desks or Sit-Stand workstations for their employees due to the benefits of standing. Although movement and activity is the best option for minimizing sedentary behaviour, standing is still being shown to increase your energy and productivity, lower stress levels and improve your mood. It can also boost your metabolism, tone muscles and reduce muscle aches and pains.
The human body was designed to move, and if you find yourself sitting for longer periods of time, think about different ways you could incorporate some movement and exercise into your daily routine!
Easy way to add some exercise into your day:
- Take the stairs: when given the option between an elevator, escalator or stairs, choose stairs! Not only will it get your heart rate up, it will also help strengthen your leg muscles.
2. Walk around on your lunch break: Invite coworkers from your office to go for a walk with you at lunch or check out a nearby park.
3. Park further away and walk: whether you’re running errands or parking at work, you can choose to park further away to walk those extra few steps.
4. Create a schedule: this will remind you to stand up and move! Programming your day can help you stick to something you might otherwise forget to do, a goal of 5-10 minutes of activity per hour. Plan to spend 5 minutes every hour up and out of your chair; getting coffee, walking around the building or taking a restroom break