Is Sitting The New Silent Killer?
As new technology is taking over the world, we rely more and more on the machines and lesser on doing things ourselves. Children don’t go out to play in the parks anymore; instead, they spend their entire day sitting in one place, playing video games. Adults don’t go out and meet people when they are ‘bored’, instead they spend the day binging on their favorite Netflix shows. Technology has made us lazy.
With the progression of time, the jobs have changed too. The style of work is not the same it used to be 20 years back. People spend more time in front of a desk, working on their computers whether it is at their homes or an office.
How many hours a day do you spend sitting? As bloggers, writers, freelancers, we all spend our fair share of time in the seats.
But is that okay? Is sitting for excessive periods of time healthy for you?
Some sources even go as far as to say that smoking is safer than sitting. Sitting for more than 8 hours a day can promote depression, obesity, type-2 Diabetes and even blood pressure as seen in research published in AM J Public Health Journal is 2018.
This is where the new Sit-Stand Desks come in. More and more offices have started to introduce these desks.
A Sit-Stand Desk is an adjustable desk, which can be repositioned according to the user. If one is standing they can increase the height of the desk, and if sitting, they can lower it back down.
This allows people to take a break from sitting, whilst not having to interrupt their work. This was intended to decrease the number of hours people spent sitting and decrease the rates of obesity and depression amongst office workers.
To understand the effects of Sit-Stand desks more clearly, research was undertaken recently by April J.Chambers, Michelle M.Robertson, and Nancy A.Baker. The key aspects of this research were to study the effects of these desks on the user’s behavior, physiology, posture, work Performance, and any discomfort.
The selected participants were followed for up to 1 year, after which it was concluded that the Sit-Stand desks were able to improve the discomfort and change their behaviors — they spent more time standing than before.
However, it had very little effects on work performance, posture, and health. It could be explained by the fact that the Sit-Stand Desks allow you to stand in one place, without any mobility which is not any better than sitting.
Hence it was concluded that the way to reduce the harmful effects associated with prolonged sitting was NEAT which stands for Non-Exercise Thermogenesis.
“Nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy expended for everything that is not sleeping, eating, or sports-like exercise. It includes the energy expended walking to work, performing yard work, undertaking agricultural tasks, and fidgeting”
In easy words, the way to practice NEAT includes taking a break from work every few minutes and walking around, even if it is to the water cooler.
According to Dr. Diaz, who is a professor at Columbia University: “If you have a job or lifestyle that involves a lot of sitting, you can lower your risk of early death by moving more often, for as long as you want and as your ability allows — whether that means taking an hour-long high-intensity spin class or choosing lower-intensity activities, like walking,”.
In his study, almost 8,000 people who were 45 years or older were selected and were asked to replace only 30 minutes of their sitting time with any low-intensity physical activity of their choice-like walking. It was found that by doing this, they were able to lower the risk of mortality by 17%.
Anything that interrupts the continuous cycle of Sedimentary activity or breaks up the long hours of sitting and gets you up from your seat is enough.
With all the diseases and negativity in the world, let’s make a promise today to prevent the preventable and prioritize our health over everything else.
Is Sitting The New Silent Killer?
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