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The Dangers of Excess Sitting

Excessive sitting can increase the risk of various health issues, such as obesity…
A woman experiencing pain from sitting at a desk for too long

The Dangers of Excess Sitting

Excessive sitting can increase the risk of various health issues, such as obesity…
By Dr. Sean Preuss Ed.D, M.S | Updated 02/07/23

Sitting for prolonged periods has become a norm in today’s society. With the rise of work-from-home jobs and smartphone capabilities, people are spending more time than ever sitting in front of a computer, hunched over their phones or watching TV.

While this may be comfortable at the moment, sitting too much can have some serious implications for our health.

Research shows that excessive sitting can increase the risk of various health issues, such as obesity, heart disease, and even premature death.

In this article, we will delve into the dangers of sitting too much and what you can do to counteract its negative effects on your health.

Are You Sitting Too Much?

How do you know if you are sitting too much? Here are some quick questions you can ask yourself to assess whether or not you’re sit/stand ratio is out of whack:

Have I been gaining weight?
Have I been experiencing lower back pain and/or chronic pain?
Have I been feeling tired or lethargic?
Have I been experiencing anxiety or depression?

If you answered yes to some or all of these questions, then you could be sitting too much in your day-to-day life.

Sure, these symptoms could be a result of many other issues; however, if you have an inclination that you might be too sedentary and are experiencing some of these issues…

You may be onto something.

And it’s worth taking a look at your daily movement because there are some seriously scary risks of excess sitting. The risks include the following:

  • Higher blood pressure, triglycerides, and hyperglycemia.
  • Higher risk of heart disease.
  • More likely to suffer from insulin resistance (a precursor to type 2 diabetes).
  • Heavier bodyweight and a larger waist circumference.
  • Elevated risk of early death.

Studies show the average person sits around 7-10 hours per day. The healthiest group in research are those who sat less than three hours per day.

That might be unachievable for many. Even if you can’t reach that total, it’s a worthwhile pursuit to reduce your daily sitting quantity.

Another option is to interrupt “sitting marathons.” Below are a few practical approaches for reducing sitting time or for interrupting long periods of sitting.

How to Sit Less & Move More

The walking workstation is referred to as a “treadmill desk” or “walking pad.” This has become increasingly popular in the last couple of years with the boom of work-from-home jobs. These allow people to move slowly while reading/working or performing most activity at their desk.

When using a treadmill desk, aim to walk at a pace around 0.8 to 1.5 mph. (It’s not meant to be a workout. It’s just a replacement for sitting).

A man walking on a treadmill desk

If the treadmill isn’t possible, opt for a standing desk. You can find these everywhere these days from Amazon to Walmart, as well as higher end furniture stores. They are also rather easy to construct using counters and other tables at home. Or simply find a surface that’s around the height of your belly button or slightly taller to place your laptop on and voila- you’ve got yourself a more ergonomic workstation.

A woman using a standing desk

Try to stand up every hour. This might be the easiest (and 100% free) solution. Stand during TV commercials, meetings, or phone calls. Use a phone alarm or smartwatch to set alerts to stand at least every hour.

If time allows, walk for at least a minute before returning to your seat. Use these tools instead of relying on your memory and good intentions. You will forget.

If you are an Apple Watch user, it is designed to automatically notify you when you’ve been sitting too long and it’s time to stand. Don’t ignore these! They are trying to make you healthier.

Sitting too much can have serious consequences for our health, but the good news is that there are simple steps we can take to counteract its effects.
By incorporating physical activity into our daily routines, taking frequent breaks to stand up and stretch, and making small changes to our habits, we can reduce the amount of time we spend sitting and protect our health.

Remember, our bodies were designed to move, not sit for hours on end. So, make a conscious effort to be more active and protect your health for years to come. By making small changes, we can create a healthier and more active lifestyle, and enjoy the many benefits that come with it.

If you are new to The Perfect Workout, try a FREE workout with us.

We know strength training is important, but nutrition is also a huge piece of your wellbeing. If you’d like help learning how to implement these new habits alongside your workouts, schedule a Nutrition Intro session today! Email [email protected] to get started.

We know strength training is important, but nutrition is also a huge piece of your wellbeing. If you’d like help learning how to implement these new habits alongside your workouts, schedule a Nutrition Intro session today! Email [email protected] to get started.

To speak with a Personal Trainer about exercise, nutrition or any help with lifestyle adjustments please call us at (888) 803-6813.

 

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