In our modern day life office work is very common with employees spending an increasing amount of time sitting at desks. Sedentary behaviours such as sitting at a work desk or reclining watching television result in no physical activity or energy expenditure with research establishing that prolonged sitting poses significant risks to the health of workers. Sedentary behaviour is behaviour such as sitting or reclining which when done for extended periods during the day have been shown to increase the risk of multiple preventable health conditions and have a secondary negative effect on the workplace.
The length of time spent sitting per day is directly related to the risk of developing conditions such as: cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, musculoskeletal disorders and premature death. It’s important to remember that humans are built to stand upright – our heart and lungs function more efficiently when we are standing upright. Major muscle groups are also engaged when we stand causing an amount of energy to be expended. When we sit down for long periods our muscles lose size and bulk and our internal organs become sluggish and less effective at regulating sugar and other hormone levels.
For those who do spend many hours a day sitting there are simple changes you can make to lessen your risk of cardiovascular and lifestyle related diseases.
- Eat sensibly with 6 small meals a day high in protein, vegetables and fibre
- Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated
- Reduce your sitting time at the workplace desk and aim to walk thousand steps a day
- Stand when taking a call
- Maintain good posture whilst seated and use desk based stretches to prevent workplace injury
- Moving your muscles helps your body digest the fats and sugars you eat. If you spend a lot of time sitting, digestion is not as efficient, so you retain those fats and sugars as fat in your body.
- Take regular breaks to refresh and reenergize your mind standing and taking a break from the computer every 30 min
- Seek a balanced approach to sun exposures your office based location to ensure you get enough Vitamin D from sunlight whilst whilst protecting against skin cancer
If you are at work and become unwell MyEmergencyDr can help – download the My Emergency Dr app to connect to a Specialist Emergency Doctor for an urgent health assessment and treatment. Available from http://www.myemergencydr.com