The Risks of Sitting for Too Long: What You Should Know
Work Wellness

The Risks of Sitting for Too Long: What You Should Know

AutonomousAutonomous | Feb 23, 2022
515 Views

Spread the word

Office working has led us to engage in unhealthy sitting patterns. While it may not seem like it at first, sitting for too long can lead to severe health problems in the future. Unfortunately, several office jobs require the person to sit for too many hours without rest. 

According to several studies, spending too many hours sitting on a chair can even lead to early death. Other severe sitting too much symptoms include diabetes, weight gain, depression, cancer, and other issues. 

Even in the less severe cases, sitting for too many hours can cause a lot of discomfort in your body, which is why it’s vital to keep things as safe as possible in your workplace. Today, we’re going to cover all of the risks that come from sitting for long periods. In case you’re sitting all day at work, you may find this page useful. 

Why Is Sitting Bad for You?

We all have the urge to sit every once in a while. Keep in mind that sitting for short periods isn’t going to do anything to your body. In this case, the damage comes from sitting for too many hours. 

If you’re in a casual meeting with friends or family, you’re not going to experience the effects of prolonged sitting. On the contrary, people who work in offices or even at home may have to sit for long periods since they’re mostly working from their computer. 

On average, workers tend to sit for more than six hours per day with little to no rest, which is extremely dangerous. 

In conclusion, sitting is not a problem. The problem comes with doing it for too long. If you want to know more details about what risks you’re exposed to while sitting, you may keep reading. 

What Risks Are You Exposed to While Sitting?

Keep in mind that everybody is different, so not everyone is going to experience the same problems in the long run. Overall, sitting for too long can lead to one (or more) of the following problems: 

Problems with Legs and Glutes

Problems with Legs and Glutes sitting for too long

Logically, you minimize the usage of legs and glutes while you’re sitting. If you’re used to sitting for long periods, you’re going to weaken those muscles, which are responsible for keeping you stable. 

You may look at it this way: If you have weak legs or glutes, you’re more likely to injure yourself in case you fall. Moreover, you’re going to experience a lot of exhaustion and strain when you try to exercise these muscles again. 

This doesn’t mean that you must go and do exercise while you work but rather that you must find a healthy routine that allows you to sit and stand for reasonable periods. Here’s a guide on how often you should stand up from your desk if you have any specific doubts. 

Weight Gain

In essence, sitting for too long promotes sedentarism, which in turn promotes weight gain. If you need us to be more specific: When you move or do exercise, your muscles release a lot of molecules that allow your body to process sugars and fat. 

However, if you are used to sitting all day at work, your muscles are less likely to release these molecules on your lower half, which may make you gain weight. Again, this doesn’t mean you must exercise for several hours a day to prevent weight gain, but if you have a lifestyle that makes you sit for too long, you may try adding a few walks here and there. 

Vascular Issues

sitting for too long causes Vascular Issues

If you’re one of those who tend to work for long periods, you may find that your legs get tired and swollen more often. This is because you may be experiencing fluid pooling or blood pooling. 

In some cases, it doesn’t go further than a mild ache on your legs, but in other severe cases, you may even experience deep vein thrombosis. DVT can cause blood clots in your deep leg vein, which can travel to your lungs, causing severe health problems in the future. 

Heart Issues

As many people already know, lack of physical activity can lead to a wide range of cardiovascular diseases, which is the leading cause of death for many people worldwide. Taking that into consideration, sitting for too long can increase your chances of experiencing a heart attack. 

The effects of prolonged sitting become even worse for those who work while sitting since sitting impacts the way in which the body regulates sugar and blood pressure, which can cause diabetes or other problems. 

Back Pain

sitting for too long causes Back Pain

Sitting all day at work can put a significant strain on your spine and joints, including your hips and shoulders. You may notice that the longer you sit, the more likely your body is to change its position to make you feel more comfortable. 

However, sitting for too long can lead to improper postures, such as slouching habits. Doing this for prolonged periods can lead to postural misalignment, unnecessary stress on your lower back, and less flexibility on your spine. 

Neck and Shoulder Problems

As mentioned before, sitting for long periods can make your neck and shoulders stiffen up. You may not even notice at first, but when you engage in bad sitting postures, you’re subconsciously activating and deactivating muscles. 

When it’s too late, you’re going to feel a lot of discomfort in your neck and shoulders, especially if you’re used to hunching over to look at your computer monitor

Cancer

Some studies suggest that sitting all day at work can lead to some types of cancer, which include colon, lung, or uterine cancer. There are no clear reasons why this happens, but these are problems to be on the lookout for if you want to avoid experiencing them. 

Anxiety and Depression

sitting for too long causes Anxiety and Depression

Finally, prolonged sitting also causes some effects in the mental health department. While there are many reasons why this may happen, it’s vital to remember that active physical movement leads to mental health benefits. Logically, if you neglect physical activity due to sitting, you may be at risk of experiencing mental health issues in the future. 

How Can You Sit Less While Working?

Some office workers may think that it’s impossible to find a way to keep working efficiently while sitting for less time. Thankfully, there are many products and methods you can start implementing today to avoid some of the problems that come from sitting for too long. 

Being More Active

Being More Active

Logically, sitting for too long leads to less ‘physical activity’ time. In that department, the best solution would be to be more active. However, how can you do that if you’re working all day long at your office? 

Fortunately, you can start being more active from the moment you wake up even until the moment you get back home from work. If you want to increase physical activity before work, for example, you may choose to walk a bit to your workplace if it’s not too far. 

If you go on a bus, you may try getting off at an earlier stop and walking the rest of the way. Once you’re at your workplace, you could walk up the stairs instead of using a lift. 

On the other hand, some ways you have to be more active at work include taking a few breaks away from your desk. If you’re at lunchtime, for example, try not to have lunch on your desk. Instead, go to the cafeteria or someplace else to enjoy your food. 

Even if it’s not lunchtime, you may take a few breaks every few minutes or hours. Overall, you may go for a short walk outside and get back to work. All of these habits may not seem that significant, but if you do them constantly, you may get excellent results in the future. 

Using Ergonomic Products

Using Ergonomic Products

If you’re already being a more active person at work and are still having problems with sitting, the solution may be on ergonomic products. In case you don’t have those already, ergonomic products are designed with the sole purpose of adapting your body to natural and healthy positions so that you can work without any problems. 

Using an adjustable standing desk and an ergonomic office chair, for example, can lead to many health benefits in the long run. You may even improve your sitting posture with a chair if you get the right one. 

If you want to know more about how these ergonomic products can help you lead a much healthier lifestyle, keep reading! 

Ergonomic Desk

Ergonomic Desk

An adjustable office desk may seem like an expensive investment at first, but if you’re able to get one for your office, you may experience the benefits right away. First, these desks are designed to allow you to change from a sitting to a standing position in a few seconds. 

If you’re used to sitting for long periods, you may find working while standing a bit weird. Still, we invite you to try one and see the benefits for yourself. 

Here, one of the best options you can get for your office is the Autonomous SmartDesk. Overall, the SmartDesk has a sleek and minimalistic design, a powerful dual-motor, and a lot of extra features that make your working experience much more comfortable. 

You don’t have to worry about your SmartDesk not being wide enough to fit all your office supplies. Autonomous has a wide range of SmartDesk products on its product listing, so you may choose the option that best fits your needs and budget.

Ergonomic Chair

Ergonomic Chair

If you want to have the absolute best experience while working, a standing desk is not going to be enough. In this case, an ergonomic, reclining office chair can help you mitigate the risks of sitting for too long. 

While your main goal should be to reduce the number of hours you’re sitting while working, you must still ensure you have a decent sitting experience. Overall, a ‘sitting all day' office chair is the solution for those who cannot afford to take a lot of breaks or buy a standing desk. 

In this case, Autonomous also has you covered with its ‘ErgoChair’ lineup. Here, you also have a wide range of options to choose from, including a desk chair with a footrest, which may allow you to rest your feet more ergonomically and comfortably. 

Generally speaking, you may expect one or more of the following features in an ergonomic chair: 

  • Lumbar support
  • Full back support
  • Armrests
  • Headrests
  • Footrests
  • Swiveling
  • Reclining 

Logically, the more features the chair has, the better. As long as the product comes with back support, you already have a lot of ground covered. Still, you may take a look at Autonomous’s chair catalog to find something that fits your needs. 

Do Exercise When You’re Not Working

Being active doesn’t necessarily need to be at your office. If you can spare a few minutes of your day at home, you may spend them doing yoga, exercise, dancing, or any other thing that involves moving your body.

If you engage in a more active lifestyle, you’re less likely to experience the effects of prolonged sitting, especially if you get any of the ergonomic products mentioned above.

Some companies don’t allow their workers to stand up until they’re done working, so doing anything to keep ourselves active during the rest of the day can also help us be healthier in the long run. 

Bottom Line

We know sitting all day at work isn’t a habit we can change easily, especially if we work with strict working schedules and habits. Still, we must try to upgrade our working experience in any way possible to preserve our health for the future. 

If you already have an active lifestyle, you may try pairing that up with ergonomic products for your office; that way, you increase the chances of preventing any physical or mental health problems exponentially.

Hey, you have special pricing through your company.

Get exclusive rewards

for your first Autonomous blog subscription.

Video ads for product
Video ads for product
Video ads for product
Autonomous

WRITTEN BYAutonomous

We build office products to help you work smarter.

You May Also Like

Coming at You Live from Autonomous’ Social Media!