Today's workplace requires many to work from a desk or a work-at-home environment. This requires a sedentary lifestyle and makes it much harder to get the physical activity you need to stay healthy and maintain health.
The human body is meant to move and requires you to engage in daily exercise or movement. Those living a completely sedentary lifestyle can expect various health problems that could prove fatal over time.
Consider the following conditions which could arise as a result of sitting too much through the day for both work or downtime.
7 Dangers of Sitting All Day
Below are seven diseases and conditions that can arise from a lack of movement in your daily life.
1. Heart Disease or Heart Attack
Heart attacks affect more than 800,000 people in America every year, and heart disease is the number one health-related killer.
This condition happens when individuals develop artery blockage that cuts off the natural flow of blood to the heart. This event usually occurs suddenly, but the symptoms can be innocuous sometimes. Some symptoms to note can include the following.
- Shortness of breath
- Pressure in chest
- Upper body discomfort
- Pain in the left arm
Living a sedentary lifestyle prevents the body from functioning correctly and impedes the body's fat and cholesterol processes. Fat deposits build up without exercise and eating a poor diet, which leads to heart disease and could eventually cause a heart attack.
A stroke occurs when a blood clot or blockage affects the flow of blood to the brain. There are two main types of strokes.
- Ischemic Stroke - This is a blockage in the blood vessel to the brain.
- Hemorrhagic Stroke - Blood vessels that break and bleed into the brain.
Obesity, high cholesterol, and low physical activity can be causes of a stroke.
Strokes have certain telltale signs, which, if noticed and treated right away, allow for a better outcome. If treated under a specific time frame (within 4 hours), some patients may fully recover.
The common signs of stroke include loss of coordination or balance, numbness or weakness in the arms, legs, and facial region, and trouble seeing or speaking. Many stroke victims can't move one side of their face and have reductions in mental alertness.
3. High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure refers to the amount of force blood flow exerts on the arteries and veins in the body. People with high blood pressure readings need immediate medical intervention and medication.
A diet and lifestyle changes are usual recommendations for people with high blood pressure. Sedentarism contributes to high blood pressure, and over time, this condition can create other significant health problems.
4. Blood Clots
Blood clots can cause various emergency medical conditions—many of which can be fatal right away. Some can cause excruciating pain and debilitation.
To prevent blood clots through the body, make sure to get at least some physical exercise daily to keep blood flowing properly.
One serious blood clot condition related to sitting for long periods is called Deep Vein Thrombosis. This condition is deadly in many cases and is why you should stand and stretch frequently during the day.
If you fly frequently, you'll know about these recommendations and why it's important to stand and allow blood to flow freely through the legs. This is also true for people who sit for work or don't have a high level of physical activity.
5. Loss of Muscle Strength
To maintain muscle strength and a full range of motion, you need to stay active daily. With lack of movement comes loss of strength and tiredness.
6. Poor Blood Circulation
As mentioned earlier, living a sedentary lifestyle creates poor blood circulation. With reduced circulation comes various health problems, including issues with the ability to use extremities, blood clots, issues with internal organs, and issues with energy sustainability.
7. Weak Immune System
Healthy exercise every day is the best way to strengthen and maintain one's immune system.
If you live a sedentary lifestyle, you're much more likely to encounter various illnesses and conditions that can pose a serious threat to one's well-being or even be fatal if the person has a weak immune system.
What You Can Do
Even if your work requires you to spend long hours in front of a computer or at any kind of desk, there are many things you can do to help avoid the above-mentioned issues.
One of the best ways to avoid these sometimes tragic results of a sedentary lifestyle is to get up frequently and participate in activities. These activities can range from doing house chores or even taking an evening walk.
Read More >> Top Best Standing Desk Exercises
Going to the gym is another great way to improve your overall health and increase your strength and improve the function of internal organs and processes.
However, if you have health conditions or physical disabilities, ask a doctor to recommend exercises that don’t pose a risk, but encourage better health and condition.
Not all desks are made for a sitting position. Explore the options, as the variety keeps getting wider.
The most common choice nowadays is a standing desk. This item allows for better blood circulation and for you to have more mobility while working.
Read More >> Benefits of a Standing Desk?
Most standing desks are adjustable, so you can choose the height that is most comfortable to you. Some of them even have the option to change between sitting or standing so you can still spend part of your work day in a chair.
What about exercising and working at your desk at the same time? You can choose a treadmill desk, bicycle desk or even an elliptical one.
Read More >> Top 5 Best Treadmill Workstations (2021 Review)
Instead of affecting your health negatively, you will be improving your overall well being while being productive in your job. Again, make sure to check in with your doctor if you have any special conditions so they can recommend the best option for you.
Living an active lifestyle with the right level of exercise is the best way to stay healthy and have a better quality of life.
Go at your own pace and choose the alternatives that work best for you to start a less sedentary lifestyle. Avoid staying seated too long and incorporate movement into your life!