Do you spend a large part of your day sitting? You might consider yourself lucky to have a nice office job, but you may also be suffering from “sitting disease”. A sedentary lifestyle is a term used to describe a lifestyle that includes prolonged periods of inactivity and sitting, and while it may sound harmless, it is a serious problem and a lot of people suffer from the negative effects it has on their health.
High risk of cancer
A sedentary lifestyle significantly increases your chances of developing several kinds of cancer – colon cancer, endometrial cancer as well as lung cancer. The risk is doubled if you tend to spend most of your free time in front of the TV, eating junk food and drinking sodas, which, let’s face it, is something most of us do. What is more, all this paves the way for obesity, which is another important factor that can increase the risk of cancer.
Your metabolism slows down
What do you usually do after lunch? Go back to work, of course. If you chose to sit down and start working right after you’ve eaten, it can severely slow down your metabolism. Your abdominal contents tend to compress and as a result, the process of digestion is slowed down. As if having sluggish digestion isn’t complicated enough, you can also get cramps, feel bloated, and become constipated. Moreover, it can lead to a microbial imbalance in your gastrointestinal tract known as dysbiosis. If you notice that you have problems with digestion, in addition to gentle exercise, you should add more foods rich in fibre to your diet – leafy greens (spinach and kale), broccoli, peas, as well as avocados and oatmeal will do wonders for your digestion.
It’s common to bend your neck forward and hold your neck down while working on your computer, but this leads to sore shoulders, strained neck, and sore back. Your back is under more pressure when you’re sitting, and it gets even worse if you’re sitting hunched. You will likely lose flexibility in your back if you don’t start working out and reducing the amount of time you spend sitting.
Bad for your eyes
Even though sitting for a long time isn’t directly linked to bad eyesight, jobs that require you to sit for hours at the time usually are. Spending hours in front of a computer screen or reading and writing for a long time inevitably takes a toll on your eyesight. This is the reason why you should get your eyes checked regularly. You can easily find a great optometrist in Broadway, or even somewhere close to your office, and schedule an appointment. Your eyesight could gradually be getting worse without you even noticing, and regular checkups are important, especially if you notice that your eyes itch and sting at the end of the day.
Not only is sitting down for a long time bad for your physical health, but it can also cause psychological distress. this doesn’t mean that you’ll be depressed if you sit a lot, but if you spend more than six hours in an office chair, you will be more likely to feel stressed out. If you notice that you’re feeling hopeless, restless, and more nervous than usual, it might be a sign that you’re sitting too much. Try doing some cardio in the gym; it is proven that gentle exercise can boost your mood, and your body will start producing more endorphins.
Is there a cure for a sedentary lifestyle? Fortunately, there is – change the way you work, at least a little bit. If it’s not possible to get a treadmill or a bike desk at work, you should try taking more breaks and using them to walk around the office or hallway. Those small five-minute breaks will reduce the bad effects caused by the prolonged periods of inactivity.