Sitting too long is as bad as smoking

A cropped shot of a handsome trainer stretching before a workout session

You exercise every day; go for your daily walk without missing a day, run, swim three times a day; do cardio, weights…. whatever; and spend rest of your day sitting in front of a computer in office or on a table writing & moving files, spending time in library… there’s bad news in the waiting!

Technology has provided us with so many comforts that it is causing more harms than gains.  We don’t move around so much anymore. We had so many little errands to run earlier like attending landlines, getting up to switching lights and TV; and now every second person we know is employed in a sitting job or is seeking one like that! We’re sitting all the time; sitting in school, sitting in office, sitting in car, sitting to watch TV, sitting and talking, sitting, sitting, sitting. All the walking, running, swimming and gym-ing can’t help in a scene dominated by sitting. People who sit through most of their day are at a much higher risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart problems, even cancer leading to death.

Are you sitting comfortably right now? Well, even if you try to re-arrange your posture as you read this, it won’t help much, especially if you are going to be sitting like this for a few more hours. Go talk a small walk, stretch your back, look at the greens or close your eyes to get them some rest,  or be prepared for a long battle ahead.

People slouching before their computer in 9-5 day jobs are twice as likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease compared to people whose jobs involve more activity, like going out, moving about, walking up and down the office floors, traveling, meeting people etc.

According to research the moment you become sit, you reduce your calorie burning capacity by about 1 Kal a minute and enzymes that break down excess fats in our food drop by 90%.  Sitting drops good cholesterol by 20% and can reduce our insulin uptake by 24% which leads to increased risk of diabetes. Thus if you have a sitting job, or don’t do much at home but lounging all day, it’s no good. Research says that it will impact your health adversely in the long run, back ache, ponch, weight, dullness seeping in the mind through body…. and what not!

Try to do walk-meeting as and when possible. Climb the stairs, instead of taking lift. These movements will help blood to circulate well, burn calories. For people who don’t move about much in office, cause a lot of harm to their own bodies without realizing it. They thus end up storing all the physical energy which invariably comes alive when you hit the bed, and then you’re never quite able to sleep quickly. Sometimes when you are physically inactive, this lack of momentum makes your mind also dull.  Not a good sign because when your mind sleeps, it slows down, your thinking slows down, your response time slows down….

It is important that you don’t remain seated for an extended periods of time in one place; take a break & do a small walk, stretch, walk on a treadmill if your office has one; when you go home remind yourself to not sit in front of T.V.

Physical activities help to fight fatigue. As you stand, your back is stretched, and you reduce chances of suffering from back problem in the later years of your life. People who suffer from arthritis do better when they are standing. Because when they are standing and moving about, it offers activity to the joints, keeping them mobile.

Do you know what’s considered a perfect posture? Well, when your head, neck and shoulders are straight, you are said to have achieved a perfect posture; which you can never do leaning into your worn-out office chair. When you adopt a good posture, it’s good for your lungs and your straightened abdomen eases the digestion.

The secret to good health is to avoid sitting as much as you can, especially if you have a sitting job. Take frequent walk breaks and as we are nearing the end of this post, check if you’re sitting right!