Maybe sitting all day at my desk job on the computer isn’t such a great idea after all. I can still remember as a child how much I disliked having to sit at a desk for hours at a time. Now, scientific research is confirming what most children already know, sitting in a chair all day is a bad idea.
Sitting is the new smoking
In school, we sit at our desks most of the day. At work, we sit at our desks and stare at the computer screen most of the day. Many of us also sit in our cars and drive them everywhere they need to go. Then, after a long day we get home and continue our sitting regiment at our computer or on the couch to watch television. It’s a tough cycle to break because school and most jobs essentially require us to sit for long periods of time.
New research is now finding that this sedentary lifestyle is contrary to our biological needs and destructive to our overall well-being. The human body has evolved to is biologically designed to be mobile, not sedentary. In Silicon Valley and across the developed world, sitting is rapidly becoming the new smoking. In fact, we sit an average of 9.3 hours a day, more than we spend sleeping. Scientists believe that anyone sitting more than 6 hours a day is at a heighten risk of developers problems and this much sitting may be as bad as smoking a pack of cigarettes everyday.
Some studies are even finding that if you regularly sit for long periods of time at work, this habit will take years off your life (even if you exercise regularly). That’s not to mention the heightened stress levels and a host of other problems that don’t show up for decades.
“Sitting is so incredibly prevalent that we don’t even question how much we’re doing it. And because everyone else is doing it, it doesn’t even occur to us that it’s not OK.” – Nilofer Merchant at TED 2013
“In that way, sitting has become the smoking of our generation.
The trouble with sitting all day at a desk job
Here’s the facts about sitting down compiled in a beautiful infographic from Medical Billing and Coding. Fortunately, there are ways to adjust our lifestyle and mitigate the effects of sitting all day at the office. Discover some useful tips in the “Truth About Sitting Down” infographic below.
Sitting Syndrome: What can you do about it?
I work at a desk on my computer so I really want to reduce the effects that all the sitting I do has on my overall health. Along with the suggestions i this infographic, I did some more research and these are some other useful health-sitting resources that I’ve found:
- The World Is Your Gym: How To Build The Exercise Habit
- 16 Tips for Desk Jockeys: What to Do About Sitting All Day
- Stand Up, Move More, More Often: Study finds more breaks from sitting are good for waistlines and hearts
- How Sitting All Day Is Damaging Your Body, And How You Can Counteract It
- Sitting Less May Be Key for Maximum Longevity
- Ditch Your Office Chair for a New ‘Standing Desk’
It’s a fact of life that we spend a lot of time staring at screens and sitting in comfortable chairs. Fortunately, there is a lot we can do to mitigate the long term effects of excessive sitting and keep our mind and body in excellent shape no matter what kind of work we do.