Studies show that sitting for prolonged periods can have serious affects on your health. People whose professions require them to sit at a desk or drive a vehicle all or most of the day are at risk. There are, however, some simple preventive measures that can be taken to avoid these possible risks to your health due to sitting too long.
One of the risks associated with prolonged sitting is the increased risk of obesity, especially increased body fat around the waist. This can lead to very serious conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar to name a few. Even more serious conditions are the increased risks of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
There is a simple measure that can be taken to avoid these risks: get more movement throughout the day. Moving more throughout the day is even better than spending a few hours at the gym a few times a week. Try taking frequent short walks throughout the day. If it is not possible to walk outside, walk for a few minutes in your office building or workplace. If your building has stairs, walk up and down the stairs a few times. Parking further from your building or the grocery store will also add steps into your day. If you are able to keep a set of small weights or an exercise band in your drawer, you can do some light weight lifting and stretches at your desk as well. Also, if you are familiar with yoga, there are some easy postures that would work at a desk or in an office. And it would be beneficial to eat your lunch standing up, when possible.
If financially feasible, there are retailers out there that sell desks that raise to standing height so you get a break from sitting. If you are able to invest in one, that may be something worth looking into. For people whose job requires them to drive most of the day, some of these suggestions may not be possible. But trying to insert any movement into the day will benefit your overall health.
These measures don't seem like much, but even the smallest changes can have huge health benefits. The best thing to do is to take a break from sitting and move whenever possible. If these small changes benefit your health even in a small way, it will be worth the effort.