What Is Sedentary Work & Its Dangers?
Working adults are prone to several health risks, all because of their sedentary behavior. Yet, according to a study, a huge proportion of the entire population, meaning 60% of the working force, does not engage in any healthy routine or physical movement, which could minimize the health repercussions of sitting all day when working.
This is partly because of the increased automation and technology benefits in a modern workplace which give rise to sitting behavior as a person is required less to move up and get work done manually. The fact that you spend most of the day sitting down, regardless of whether you exercise outside work hours, poses health risks on various levels. Yes, even if we go to the gym after work, sedentary work can harm our health. But what exactly is sedentary work meaning, and are there any ways to fight off the negative impacts of sitting? Because one cannot avoid their work life or cut out sitting from their life altogether.
In this article, you will find all you need to know about sedentary work behavior and some helpful tips to help fight off the negative impacts of a sedentary work routine.
What is Sedentary Work?
In simpler terms, sedentary work covers all the jobs that require you to sit for most of your workday. Or even if it's not work-related, gamers, people who are lazy, or someone free at home might be leading a sedentary lifestyle without even realizing it. To put it statistically, anything you do sitting or reclining/tilting (without getting up from your chair) comes under the sedentary work category.
From a weighted point of view, sedentary behavior counts as lifting any weight under 10 pounds which is a common practice in office spaces, considering the files, documents, and papers are merely weightless. Hence such jobs are termed sedentary jobs and have multiple build-ups of negative impacts over time. Below we have listed some negative impacts of sedentary behavior and some routine changes to help you keep moving.
Sedentary Jobs and Health Risks?
Sedentary work is so dangerous that it is counted as the new smoking. This is because a person who leads a sedentary lifestyle puts themselves at risk, like smoking. Long periods of sitting have been linked to negative health outcomes, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer, according to several recent studies.
Long-term, intense sedentary behavior is detrimental to blood circulation. This is because toxin elimination requires movement in humans. Additionally, rearranging your workspace can help with circulation and have ergonomic advantages. Below are some common health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
When sitting, you are in one of your body's most relaxed and stationary states. Hence there is no call for energy and, thus, no calorie burnout. People who sit for hours and have lunch on their desks while munching for the rest of the day suffer from calorie build-up. And if they don't practice a healthy workout routine outside of the office, the calories build up and turn into fat reserves.
When you eat or have a proper meal as the digestion process proceeds, you will experience a high blood sugar level. This blood sugar level needs to be controlled and utilized into energy by physical movement. Sitting minimizes the chances of energy utilization and hence can lead to permanent high blood sugar problems, i.e., diabetes.
Most people don't have an ideal posture when seated at a desk. Raising or lowering your arms in close proximity to a keyboard can lead to neck and shoulder issues. The constant looking down at the screen of laptops also frequently strains the neck. And in most cases, people develop back pain directly linked to excessive sitting behavior. It is important to learn about types of posture and follow the right working posture for you, so there is a minimum strain on the body.
Sitting excessively reduces the need for blood circulation in the lower body region; hence heart health is compromised. People who sit for long periods and follow this routine over the years develop weaker leg muscles and constant leg pains because of compromised heart pumping action.
Anxiety and Depression
Not a direct relation between moods and sitting and people often tend to not relate anxiety and depression with sitting as much as they link physical problems such as back ache with excessive sitting. But we do know that those who spend more time sitting are more likely to experience anxiety and sadness. This is because physical activity is proven to be a great booster. People leading a sedentary lifestyle are missing all the good of being physically active.
How to Minimize the Health Risks of Sedentary Position at Work?
All causes of mortality are increased by sedentary habits, which also double the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Other dangers include cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, depression, and anxiety. Here are some changes to help minimize the health risks caused by a sedentary lifestyle.
A standing desk is one wondrous invention with many health benefits for users. A standing desk helps you schedule your work hours between sitting and standing. This ensures you don't spend your time in the same position for long hours. Standing desks are also proven to control blood sugar levels, minimize the risk of developing obesity and burn a greater number of calories than sitting.
While a standing desk brings a certain number of benefits to make the most of these advantages, easy standing exercises also help promote activity.
While your first resort should be to look for a standing desk solution for your office routine, there are several sitting exercises you can follow too. From sitting exercises for abs to working with under-desk office exercise equipment, there are many ways where the negative impacts of sitting can be somewhat controlled.
Exercise is one known way to fight off physical and mental health problems. With exercise, you can gather great benefits for your physical body as each muscle undergoes movement, but for mental health, exercise helps reshape the perspective, think positively, and also minimize the chances of depression. Hence it is important to have some part of your daily routine dedicated to workout. The right office gym equipment can help you work out even from home.
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