As American workers have moved from active jobs to working in offices, sedentary lifestyle issues and mortality rates linked to heart disease have multiplied.
In the US alone, more than one-third of the adult population qualifies as obese. Breaking out of a sedentary lifestyle can promote better health and delay death. It’s important to consider ways to get exercise and movement into your life, especially if you spend hours in front of the computer for work and recreation.
Here are five potential health consequences of spending too much time at your desk.
1. Cardiovascular disease
Watching TV, driving for long periods of time, playing video games, and using the computer can slowly build up your risk of heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure, The National Institute for Health discovered high mortality rates from cardiovascular disease after monitoring thousands of men over two decades.
They tended to exhibit sedentary behaviors for most of their lives. Many scientists believe that exercising for just thirty minutes each day may help you stave off heart issues later in life.
2. Muscle atrophy
You need to use your muscles, otherwise they lose their flexibility and strength. Hospital patients who have been in a coma exhibit extreme muscle deterioration, with foot drop and other forms of atrophy, due to their complete lack of activity.
People who live a sedentary lifestyle are at risk of losing muscle mass and tone, which can make daily tasks highly strenuous. You may not notice the difference until you walk home with the groceries one day and find yourself gasping for breath. It’s important to exercise on a regular basis so your muscles do not lose their capabilities.
Weight gain occurs when your daily caloric intake far exceeds your daily caloric burn. Many people snack as they play games or watch TV, which means a high amount of calories are consumed These extra calories soon turn into fat, since people with sedentary lifestyles do not burn them off.
Obesity can quickly turn into a serious health condition that puts you at risk for circulatory issues, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and gout. The additional weight can also take a toll on your joints, making it painful to become more active.
Introducing more activity to your lifestyle and eating healthy can help keep your weight in check.
4. Poor posture
Our bodies weren’t designed to sit at a desk for eight or more hours a day. Many office workers experience chronic neck and back pain, due to the positions they maintain while at work.
These can make it difficult to be active and lead to tense muscles. Take short breaks to stretch your joints and sit up straight. Avoid hunching over and resting your head on your hand. Ergonomic chairs and keyboards can help correct your posture. Consider installing a standing desk at your home and office, so you are able to change your posture.
5. Joint issues
Some repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel occur when the nerves in your wrist and arm become inflamed. This happens after spending years typing at a keyboard. It can also occur after repetitive motions in other situations, such as working at a cash register, playing sports, or completing tasks at a factory.
Arthritis is the wearing down of cartilage, which can be exacerbated by repetitive motions. A variety of natural treatments can help people with these types of injuries, reducing pain and increasing their range of motion. These supplements should be used with regular stretching and exercise, to decrease stiffness and strengthen muscles.