Anyone sitting too long is at risk
By not sitting too long in one position you can prevent and avoid prolonged serious medical conditions.
We’ve all heard how dangerous it is to sit on an airplane in a cramped seat for any length of time.
Turns out, it isn’t the cramped seat, but the prolonged crease at your hips and knees that prevent proper blood and fluid flow in the body.
The cardiopulmonary system truly slows down in such an isolated position. Scientists don’t really know how many people are affected—though it is known sitting too long in one position is a risk that applies to everyone.
Sitting too long can be highly dangerous for those previously diagnosed with thrombophilia, a condition where the blood clots too easily.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Prolonged sitting time is a health risk. Sedentary behavior has emerged as a risk factor for various negative health outcomes.
Study results have demonstrated associations of prolonged sitting time with (in this order):
(1) Premature mortality chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer
(2) Metabolic syndrome
Solution is to take breaks from prolonged sitting time
In contrast, breaks in prolonged sitting time have been correlated with beneficial metabolic profiles among adults, suggesting that frequent breaks in sedentary activity may explain lower health risk related to waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), triglyceride levels, and 2-hour plasma glucose levels.
Tackling the Workstation
Do you sit at your job all day and at home all night? Let’s face it; we’re pretty tired after a long day’s work.
So, let’s tackle the workplace first: Ask your employer to be on the cutting edge of employee health and get a desk that is at counter height (easy to do in a cubicle).
There are also desk and desk attachments for your computer available that raise up and down. You should change position for this to be effective.
If you are not successful then get up every 20 minutes and walk around, do squats or stretch for about 2 minutes or so.
Another discovery in the CDC study test was that those who practiced "sit-standing" improved their self-reported levels of mood.
“Significant improvements were noted for fatigue vigor, tension, confusion, depression, and total mood disturbance. Following the removal of the "sit-stand" devices the vigor and total mood disturbance returned to baseline levels."
An added benefit to sitting/standing at work results in less lower back and neck pain. What a bonus!
Exercise you can do in your personal timespan
Join a gym and use the cardiovascular equipment before or after work—even during lunch. The metabolic benefits from 30 minutes of cardiovascular training last a few hours after you exercise.
Do yoga, ballroom dancing, get a personal trainer . . . Be as active as you can be all the time!
Take walks, enjoy sports such as cycling, bocce ball, or softball.
And while in front of the TV, get up just as you would at work and activate the entire muscular system.
Kate Titus, ACSM Certified Personal and Pilates Trainer