Physical labor in contemporary workplaces has drastically decreased because of the increase in automated jobs. Office workers spend between 70 and 85 percent of their time sitting down, which adds to their exposure to sitting throughout the day. In comparison to their less sedentary peers, desk-based office professionals are also observed to spend their free time on sedentary activities. The incidence of type 2 diabetes and mortality from all causes is negatively correlated with excessive daily sitting time. Recent research has also shown that prolonged sitting increases the risk of cancer and mortality.
Excessive sitting has remained a debated issue and a hot topic for leading researchers for years. The American Heart Association has given its general decision on this issue as prolonged sitting is the same as chain smoking for its harmful impacts on human lungs, heart, and blood circulation. This article discusses how to combat prolonged sitting in this modern era.
What Are the Basic Facts to Be Known About Excessive Sitting?
The essential points to know about excessive sitting include:
No Chair Lifestyle in the Healthcare Sector:
Office bearers in the modern world have adopted a 'no chair' lifestyle at the workplace. The developed countries have moved from a chair to an 'on feet' style of working. Physicians, surgeons, chiropractors, physical therapists, scientists, pharmacists, store managers, and the modern era's business tycoons are all on their feet when in office. Because all executive and business class personnel have very little time for physical activity and cannot afford their time when they return home, thus, the modern medical world adopted a routine for humanity that uses the advantage of an office without chairs. It also advises people to stand on the counters longer while on duty.
Regular Physical Activity:
People adopt a routine of regular physical activity when they get free from the office after a whole day spent in a chair at work. However, internal medicine researchers have recently confirmed that people who spend more time sitting have a greater risk of mortality from cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes mellitus type 2, even though they do regular physical activity. Therefore, not only a morning walk or an evening gym is necessary for a healthy heart and a disease-free body, but one also needs to remain standing and moving on their feet during the whole day unless prohibited by the nature of the job. For example, research has proved an increased mortality rate due to myocardial infarction (heart attack) among bus drivers compared to bus conductors. Because the bus drivers spend most of their time sitting behind the wheels and the conductors spend their time moving around.
To move, walk, run, or jog at a healthy pace, there is an important fact to remember while going out for exercise. Everyone should do regular brisk physical activity for 15 to 20 minutes daily to suffice this need. It is more effective than the strenuous activity done for three continuous hours per week. Research done by the American Cancer Society confirms that women who sit for a long time have a greater risk of acquiring cancers such as ovarian or breast carcinomas and multiple myelomas than active and less sitting women.
Scientists used to mention obesity as the mother of all diseases. But recently published research has proved that an inactive lifestyle and excessive sitting cause deaths twice more than obesity. So, maintaining a good BMI (Body Mass Index) and weight within the normal range is not the only essential thing for a healthy life and a disease-free body staying away from sedentary and less active lifestyle habits.
To Move to Work or to Sit to Work:
The definition of work in physics states that a person is considered to have zero work done even if he has picked up a weight of 30 kilograms and remained still where he is. Physics determines to give work to the body by walking for some distance while carrying some weight. So, people sitting in a chair and solving one thousand daily tasks are considered to have zero work done according to the scientific rules. Medical science also confirms these facts today.
What Are the Basic Lifestyle Modifications Needed to Avoid Excessive Sitting?
A few lifestyle modifications are needed to avoid excessive sitting and save a person from various diseases.
Holding a friendly standing meeting in the workplace instead of sitting.
Indulging oneself in something that needs walking at the workplace. Do not compromise health as the risks are as more as the options to be healthy.
If one needs to place a long-hour call, do it while walking.
One can watch television or operate a laptop while standing.
Park the car away from the place of work so that the person is compelled to walk a bit more while shopping, doing the job, or doing other tasks. It is best to use public transport because it gives more walking time and keeps one healthy.
Do household duties (pressing the clothes or folding the pressed laundry) while standing instead of sitting.
When advised to sit for a long time, take a two to three-minute break and try to stand out of the chair for a while.
What Are the Benefits Obtained by Avoiding Excessive Sitting?
People who have a less sedentary lifestyle have better control over their normal body functioning.
The blood pressure remains within limits even in the presence of other inevitable risk factors.
Cholesterol and glucose levels remain in the normal range.
Cancer risk and toxic metabolite accumulation in the body are far lessened.
The risk of coronary artery disease is reduced significantly.
The endocrine and immune systems of the body remain optimal at work.
Females and males remain sexually healthy if they are physically active.
A person following an inactive lifestyle is wholly responsible for the health issues that developed in their body. Among the causes of several diseases, excessive sitting might also serve as one of their causes because excessive sitting creates various health issues in the body. Periodic medical check-ups are necessary to watch their illnesses before they cause extreme trouble. Avoid them by adopting an active lifestyle rather than leading an inactive lifestyle to have a healthy body.