The following is a guest post.
Is Sitting Causing More Harm than Good? 7 Reasons to Stand Up at Work
If you’re like many Americans working a traditional 9 to 5, you know very well that sitting all day can leave you feeling exhausted by the end of the day – but why is that? You’re sitting down and relaxing your feet – that shouldn’t make you tired, right? Turns out, sitting all day can affect you in many different ways. We’ve put together a list of the top reasons you should stand up and get moving while at work:
#1: Too much sitting = lower metabolism.
There’s a very important enzyme in your muscle’s blood vessels – and it’s called lipoprotein lipase. Its job is to capture fat and destroy it, which happens naturally when you’re up and moving all day. However, when you spend most of your day sitting, your fat stays in your arteries and doesn’t get destroyed, thus causing extra body fat. Getting up and walking around – even for a few minutes out of every hour – will help lipoprotein lipase flow as it should.
#2: Sitting for long periods of time makes you sleepy.
We’ve all encountered it: The mid-afternoon nap – although in most cases, we’re just left wishing for it. After your body digests lunch and then sits in a chair without much movement for a couple hours, you start to feel tired. Instead of allowing your body to get exhausted, get up and move around. Take a walk around the office courtyard – or even just toward the cafeteria; just something to get you moving.
#3: In the long run, sitting hurts your back.
Your body was designed to support your organs and bones – and normally your pelvic, abdominal, and leg muscles support them. When you’re sitting down, that job is left for your spine and pelvis to take over. Sitting for long periods also forces the S-curve of your spine into a C-shape, which puts added stress on it.
#4: Sitting more than six hours a day increases your risk of certain types of cancer.
Studies have shown that those who sit more than six hours per day have a 30 percent increased risk of getting prostate or breast cancer in their lives. Doctors say that walking for even 30 minutes per day will decrease this risk significantly.
#5: Sitting for long periods of time can increase your risk for diabetes.
The longer you sit, the less you move. The less you move, the less blood sugar your body uses, which means your chance of contracting diabetes goes up. In fact, a recent study showed that for every 2 hours you spend sitting, your chance of getting diabetes goes up by 7 percent.#6: Sitting makes you more prone to depression. As we mentioned above, the more you sit, the less your blood flows. The less your blood flows, the less “feel-good” hormones go to your brain, thus making you feel more depressed.
#7: Standing can help strengthen your core and improve your posture. Many people who are required to sit all day have traded in their traditional chairs for exercise balls. With these as an alternative, people sit with their feet just touching the ground – and its ability to roll can actually help you improve your balance. A few years ago, it would’ve been an odd sight to see – but as office-goers have realized the benefits, exercise balls in a cubicle have become a more common scene.
Hopefully one or two of the reasons above are enough to make you realize the negative effects of sitting at a desk all day. Next time you find yourself losing focus or feeling antsy, get up out of your cubicle and take a walk.
About the Author:
Gwen Stewart is a marketing guru for clients of Outbounding.com. She works far too many hours, but has made a personal goal of eliminating Sunday from her work week. Her vision for the Fall includes one hour of yoga 4 times each week, homemade soup, saving for retirement, and time off work. She also believes that a mini lift can transform and empower a soul.