Is sitting the new smoking?

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How bad for is desk working and what can you do about it?

Thanks to recent research, we’ve all become more aware of how constant inactivity isn’t good for our health. It’s now becoming clear that sitting for long periods isn’t good for us either.  So what can you do about it?  We’ve done some research of our own and this is what we found..so read on!

“Studies have linked being inactive with being overweight and obese, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and early death.”

“Sitting for long periods is thought to slow the metabolism, which affects the body's ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.”

“Many adults in the UK spend around 9 hours a day sitting. This includes watching TV, using a computer, reading, doing homework, travelling by car, bus or train but does not include sleeping.”

The problem with sitting, is that you’re inactive and the longer you sit for the worse it is for you. Here are the risks associated with long periods of sitting*

  • Increases chance of damage to your heart
  • Reduces life expectancy
  • Increases chances of dementia
  • Increases your chances of getting diabetes
  •  Deep vein thrombosis
  • Weight gain
  • Back pain
  • Varicose veins
  • Increased Cancer Risk

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Why is sitting for long periods so bad?

According to the NHS ; "Sitting for long periods is thought to slow the metabolism, which affects the body's ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.”

The link between illness and sitting first emerged in the 1950s, when research found bus drivers were twice as likely to have heart attacks as the bus conductors.

The drivers sat for the majority of their shifts ,but the conductors kept moving and were protected.

So there you have it - it’s your metabolic rate that’s the issue and the cause of all the problems. The solution? Upping your metabolic rate by moving more.

What can you do about it?

  1. - Get a standing desk, so you have to move around more. Most can be switched from sitting to standing using a handle, so you can swap when you’ve had enough
  2. Break up your day by joining our lunchtime fitness class, like the one I run on Mondays, subscribers also get access to classes that can be played at any time
  3. Set a timer on your computer or smartphone (or buy an Apple Watch, which has built in Stand reminders) , you can also get apps to remind you.
  4. Try doing some ‘deep squats’ - Studies have show they improve mobility and relieve back pain and have a host of other benefits.

Being inactive for long periods is bad for your health, but you can avoid these risks by taking some simple steps and staying active throughout your day.

Useful Links

Standing Desks
https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/rooms/home-office/standing-desks-pub9712cc91

https://www.fully.com/en-gb/

https://www.startstanding.org/standing-desks/best-standing-desk-converters/

App For iPhone

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/stand-up-the-work-break-timer/id828244687

App For Android

https://breaktimeapp.com/

*Sources : Studies on sitting

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005

  2. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/why-sitting-too-much-is-bad-for-us/

  3. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/the-dangers-of-sitting

  4. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/ss/slideshow-sitting-health