Sitting All Day is Killing You – Get Active Today August 15 2016, 0 Comments

Sitting all day is killing you. Take back your life and improve your health by taking a few minutes during your day to move. Photo Source:

There is a library full of empirical research showing the detrimental effects of sitting all day. We sit all day at work and school, we spend hours in front of the TV, and many of us spend hours on their screens playing video games or texting.  Our sedentary habits are accentuating old injuries and creating dangerous new health problems.  The solution?  Get moving!

What Happens When We Sit All Day

Brain.  Activity circulates fresh blood and oxygen through the brain and triggers the release of neurochemicals that enhance brain functioning and positive moods.  When we are sitting all day, everything slows, including brain function and we miss the rejuvenating effects of circulation and mood stabilizing neurochemicals.

Strained neck, shoulders, and back.  Sitting at your desk will strain the cervical vertebrae in the neck and will lead to permanent imbalances. Along with the neck, slumping forward overextends shoulder and back muscles as well, leading to chronic tight and sore muscles.  When we are active, the soft discs between vertebrae expand and contract circulating fresh blood and nutrients. However, when we are sitting all day, the collagen hardens around tendons and ligaments effecting back flexibility and functionality.

Muscle Atrophy.  Our abdominal muscles are activated when we move.  But when we are sitting all day the abs are unused and atrophy.  In addition, our hip flexor muscles become short and tight from sitting all day.  The shortened hip flexor will limit range of motion and stride.  Lastly, sitting all day means an inactive butt.  Soft glutes reduce stability and affect your ability to maintain a powerful stride.  Sitting all day also causes fluid to collect in the lower leg resulting in swollen ankles, varicose veins, and an increased likelihood of blood clots.

Fight the Effects of Sitting All Day

Recent research suggests that an hour a day of sustained exercise can help reduce the detrimental effects of sitting all day.  In addition, experts recommend moving as much as possible during the day.  According to researchers led by Dr. Jarett Berry at UT Southwestern Medical Center, exercising an hour a day can help reduce the negative effects of sitting for 6-8 hours.  Another interesting finding of the research was that the less time spent sitting, regardless of the whether the person had an active exercise plan, was important to maintaining a healthy body.  What this means is that it is important to be active throughout the day.  Walking, stretching, and even fidgeting throughout the workday was found to be helpful.

When starting a workplace movement plan, you are only limited by your imagination. Photo Source:

Berry says that even if you are a hardcore endurance athlete, the cumulative effects of what you are doing when you are not doing your sport will add up.  With a little imagination and mindfulness, activities can be added into your routine hourly to make you more active while at work.  Simple changes like walking a few flights of stairs regularly throughout the day, sitting on an exercise ball or backless stool, or marching in place for a few minutes can make a big difference in overall body health and improve your workouts once the workday is done.


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