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this day and age we are sitting down for longer than ever before. The
average person in Britain sits down for 9 hours per day, while in
America the average is close to 13 hours. This problem is not just
limited to our work life either. After a long hard day at work, most of us
will arrive home after sitting down in our car for the journey back, then have a nice sit down in our favourite comfortable chair to recover
from our hectic day. Is all of this sitting really that bad
for our health? Recent studies show that it may be worse for us than
NHS warn that sitting for prolonged periods of time can lead to
obesity, diabetes, cancer and early death. They also suggest that
sitting for too long can cause your metabolism to slow down,
affecting your body's ability to regulate blood sugar levels and
break down fat. Sitting for too long can also adversely effect your
blood pressure. Some experts suggest that sitting is the new smoking. Meaning that sitting for long periods of time can be just as bad as smoking. More
common problems with sitting down for long periods include back and
neck pain, wrist pain and a lack of mobility.
So is sitting really the new smoking? This great infographic
Billing and Coding shows
just how damaging sitting down all day can be.
have also been studies showing that even if you exercise often, this
will not cancel out the negative effects that sitting for long periods
result in. Professor Stuart Biddle, professor of physical activity
and health at the BHF National Centre suggests that the poor health
effects of sitting for too long are separate from whether you often do
physical activity or not. He says that they are separate in the same
way that smoking is different from diet. There is not enough data about the topic at the moment to show the maximum amount of time you should be sitting for, but
most experts suggest that it is wise to try to sit less and move
a lot of us, it is hard to think of ways to decrease our sitting time,
especially if you have a job where you need to be in front of a computer
screen all day. But there are ways in which you can decrease your sitting
time and improve your health, even if you have a desk job.
desk, also known as a stand sit desk, is a good alternative to a normal sitting desk. This will
dramatically reduce the amount of sitting time in your day, and if
you think you couldn't stand up and work all day, a lot of standing
desks easily convert into a normal desk allowing you to alternate
between the two easily. These are known as stand sit desks.
in a stand sit desk may be out of the question for you or your office,
but don't write off the idea just yet. If you get a little bit
creative you can create your own standing desk just by using items
you already own such as boxes and coffee tables. Take a look at the
examples below of home made standing desks.
having a walk around the office every hour or so. Just a quick 2
minute walk every hour could drastically reduce the effects of
sitting down for too long. This will not only help to get the blood
circulating around your body, but will also give your eyes a well
needed break from your screen. If you really want to increase your
amount of walking time though you could invest in a walking desk (yes
they do really exist). Walking desks have a built in treadmill so you
can walk while you work! If you get a bit tired you can just turn it
off and use the walking desk as a standing desk.
for some reason you are unable to use a standing desk or you can't
get up and walk around very often. The next best thing to try is some
stretches while sitting at your desk. Doing just a few stretches
every now and then will help to get your blood flowing and reduce the
effects of sitting down all day. Try to incorporate these stretches from Fitnessbin.com into your daily routine.
your desk equipment set up incorrectly may increase the negative
effects of sitting all day. Take a look at the check list below to
make sure you have the perfect set up.
Arms - Make sure your elbows are level with the keyboard when you are
sitting at your desk. This will position your wrists at the correct
Feet & knees - Make sure that your feet are flat on the floor
with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. If you cannot achieve this
you may need a foot rest.
Head and neck - The top of your computer screen should be level with
your eyes. The screen should be right in front of you and about an arm
length away when you are sitting in an upright position.
Over reaching - Make sure that items you use regularly such as your
keyboard and phone are placed within easy reach to avoid over
these 4 simple rules and your desk set up should be perfect, reducing
the negative health effects of sitting down all day.
should ensure that employees understand how they should set up their
workspace, and that they are provided with appropriate equipment such
as an ergonomic chair, keyboard and desk. The Management of Health and
Safety at Work Regulations act 1999 states that employers must
provide employees with necessary training and equipment for them to
do their job safely. Employers who do not train their employees in
the ways to safely sit for long periods of time and do not provide
adequate equipment to achieve this could be in breach of this act.
The term 'sitting is the new smoking' is being used by more and more people in recent times, but could this actually be true? There is still limited research about this topic so it is hard to tell just how bad sitting for long periods of time can be. There is also no real way of determining the amount of time we should be sitting for per day as there is just not enough research, and it could also differ from person to person. Most experts say however that even if they can't suggest an exact amount of time you should be sitting for, everyone should be trying to sit less and move more.