The Problem of Sedentary Behavior in the Office Workspace
Work Wellness

The Problem of Sedentary Behavior in the Office Workspace

Autonomous|May 16, 2022
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Would you have ever imagined there are other ways to work than just sitting? None of us thought so. Because the offices are associated with a chair, a desk, a screen, and hours of tiring work, no matter how prone our back gets to irreplaceable loss and the negative repercussions of poor sitting posture, all these factors combined and the rise of employees complaining about physical pain due to excessive sitting have made workplaces think about the wrongs in our work routine.

As offices were only associated with sedentary behaviors, scientists were alarmed with the rate of rising problems and issues all because the employees used to sit for more than 8 hours a day and hence ended up all tired and drained out. A sedentary work environment damages physical health, but it is also a slow killer of productivity and affects other areas of life. This is probably why sitting is known as the new smoking, and the health risks of sitting at a desk all day are given more importance than ever.

Knowing all these downsides of sitting, there are thankfully many healthy changes in the workplace. From standing desks to ergonomic chairs, all these things help with the sedentary lifestyle, but what exactly is a sedentary behavior definition, and how does it affect employees? With tips to fight a sedentary work lifestyle, we have all you need to know about workplace loss of efficiency below.

What is Sedentary Behavior?

What is Sedentary Behavior?

As per sedentary behavior guidelines, anything that involves minimum energy utilization is classified as unhealthy for the human body. The time you spend lying down or in an inactive position other than sleeping counts as the contributor to a negative impact on your physical health.

And since office workers are the most common of all people who spend their hours in front of the screen doing work, not moving, not getting up, and being engrossed in the same position, they are highly known to be prone to this risk of an unhealthy lifestyle. While sitting is a common posture of the human body, excess of it damages the body. It has become a leading factor in many issues such as obesity, high blood sugar, poor metabolism, and negative impacts on activity.

What Are the Consequences of Sedentary Lifestyle?

Being a couch potato, whether you are watching television or adhering to your chair just because the work doesn't allow you to get up, makes your body vulnerable and unable to process and burn effective calories.

This, in turn, leads to an inactive body that isn't strong enough to fight off diseases and slows down the caloric burn rate. And with a sedentary lifestyle, there are many ways your body is harmed. Here are a few things you can experience when living a sedentary lifestyle.

Leads to Death

A person who sits all day is 8 times at a higher risk of dying than the one who has a healthy amount of physical activity and less sitting involved. If you sit for long periods, you're more likely to die sooner for any reason. It makes no difference whether you work out every day or not. Of course, this isn't an excuse to avoid going to the gym. Your time may be cut in half if you do so.

Affects Brain Health

sedentary behavior Affects Brain Health

Think about when your brain couldn't process a simple thing at work, and then you got up, took a break, and got back in your chair only to do it in a few seconds. This is what sitting does to your brain. It numbs the mind activity, and when you spend hours in the same position, you are less likely to feel creative and frustrated.

This is why getting up or moving between sitting and standing every 30 minutes or so is recommended. Buying a standing corner desk is the best and simplest solution to gain mobility right at your workplace.

It wastes your Workout Time

Exercising is difficult to counteract the effects of too much sitting to beat sedentary behavior. Even if you exercise for 7 hours a week, you won't be able to undo the consequences of sitting for 7 hours. Don't waste all of your hard work at the gym by spending the rest of the day on the couch.

Uncontrolled Blood Sugar Level

Uncontrolled Blood Sugar Level

Blood sugar levels are the main cause of various diseases, and people who have a sedentary lifestyle are at the greatest risk of developing unhealthy blood sugars. This is because when you sit, you burn fewer calories, and that's the long-term behavior of your body, so you are more likely to retain weight and end up being obese.

Affects the Back Muscles

When you sit for long periods you put a lot of stress on your upper body. This covers the sensitive neck region, shoulders, upper back and spine. If you slouch, it's even worse. Look for an ergonomic chair or a reclining chair that is the perfect height for you and supports your back in the right places.

With a reclining chair, you can also take off the pressure from the back when reclining back to rest in between the work hours. But keep in mind that no matter how relaxed you become, a long period of sitting is bad for your back. Every half hour, get up and move around for a minute or two to keep your spine in line.

Weaker Lower Body

Weaker Lower Body

If your legs feel jiggly when you walk a few minutes more than usual, or you dread standing up for more than 10 minutes at a time, it is because your legs don't have the power. By excessive sitting the lower body muscles the legs are less engaged hence they don’t make up as much strength as they would when fully engaged.

Muscle atrophy, or the weakening of these muscles, results from this. Your body is at risk of damage if you don't have strong leg and glute muscles to stabilize you. A standing desk stool is a great way to engage your legs and rest them periodically while working.

How to Improve Sedentary Behavior in an Office Space?

To improve a sedentary lifestyle and prevent all the damage to your body, the first sedentary behavior solution is to make your workplace ergonomic. Rather than sitting all day, opt for a standing desk that allows you to work both while standing and sitting. This will help you get your lower body muscles active even if you don't have a very active lifestyle.

Other than that, it is also important to incorporate a healthy workout into your daily life. Purchase some home fitness equipment. A treadmill or an under desk elliptical are all great ways to burn calories and activate the leg muscles. There are also various inexpensive home workout equipment that you can buy. Yoga balls, kettlebells, exercise mats, stretch bands, and hand weights are all affordable items to help you get a good workout at home.

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