Prolonged hours of sitting increases your risk of illnesses, obesity and even death.
How many hours a day do you spend seated? Be sure to count in the time you sit at your desk, while travelling, and also at home. In the 16 hours (or more) that you’re awake each day, a typical 9 am to 6 pm job sees office workers seated for about 8 hours during office hours. Count in the time you spend seated at home, and you might be shocked to calculate up to 10 hours of seating time.
This is especially harmful because our bodies were not designed to be idle. Since office jobs have formed the bulk of our industries, there is a high risk that most of us lead sedentary lifestyles. This lack of movement slows our metabolism and hence promotes the accumulation of fat. With this comes the risk of obesity, heart disease, as well as diabetes.
Once you sit down, your leg muscles shut down. Your body also only burns only 1 calorie per minute as sitting down requires very little energy. Plus, your fat burning enzymes decrease by about 90%.
These threats are still very real even though you exercise. Our bodies were made to be active ever since the early ages. This norm of sedentary seated jobs is definitely causing illnesses, something our very active ancestors didn’t face.
Worse still, if you come home from the office only to laze on the couch for 3 hours while watching television. This increases the risk of death by 64%! So every time there’s an advertisement, take this chance to do a few crunches, squats or simply walk over to the kitchen for a glass of water.
What to do?
Interrupt prolonged periods of sitting by getting up to stretch, or go to the bathroom.
Leave the office for lunch. Don’t just nip to the food place below your office. Find a nice lunch place around your workplace and walk there with your colleagues. This walk to and from the office will offer a nice break to your stiff bones.
Every few hours, take a short 5-minute break to pace up and down the stairs, or visit the furthermost bathroom for a toilet break. Add in a few stretches too!
Stand up for a while. Typing while sitting down can get boring. Try standing up for a change, or opt for a standing desk.
Walk to the nearest MRT station after work. Whatever you do, try to squeeze in 10 000 steps every day for healthy heart health.