Do you spend all day sitting at a desk? Thought so…
Many of us think we can pop to the gym after work, or go for a run when we get home and that will cancel out the effects of our desk jobs… wrong!
We weren’t made for sitting, having evolved to be upright, active and alert. Recently there has been a lot more research on the link between sitting and health. The conclusions, sorry for you, say that no amount of physical activity is enough to combat the dangerous health effects of sitting for hours each day.
Don’t get me wrong, frequent breaks from sitting definitely help, but they aren’t enough to combat all of the negative effects of those 6-8 hours we spend at our desks.
The cure for the sitting isn’t exercising more, it’s sitting less. The antidote to sitting all day, however, is not to stand all day. Our bodies respond best when we engage in a variety of movements — walking, standing, bending and even squatting.
Studies have linked long periods of sitting with an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. Sedentary days have also been shown to increase anxiety.
Of course, we can’t ignore the deactivation of our gluteal (butt) muscles, and the tightening of our hamstrings, hips and quads, not to mention the neck and back pain which increases from our desk job.
Lots of sitting can lead to lots more sitting. You feel tired after a long day at work, and all you want to do is sit on your couch when you get home. It’s in these moments that you need to remind yourself of the detrimental effects of all that sitting and go for a brisk walk, or hit the gym instead (even though it’s sometimes the last thing you want to do).
With a few small tweaks, you can be on track to a day with less sitting and more movement.
Stand up, for yourself!
This article originally featured on the Get The Edge blog.
The author is the founder of the ‘magic’ PhysioEdge magnesium massage gel, designed for muscle performance and recovery (gettheedge.uk.com).
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