sedentary lifestyle

In today’s world where we seem to be always busy, whether at home or at work, the risk of acquiring adverse health conditions is high. Being busy nowadays does not mean that people keep moving as they do their activities. On the contrary, individuals whose nature of work are desk-related have their activities and movements limited. And the more they become engaged with their desk jobs, the more they become stagnant or sedentary. However, a sedentary lifestyle does not only apply to workers; it can also happen to people who choose to refuse a more active lifestyle.

Sedentary Lifestyle: Its Increasing Effects to Health and Overall Well-Being

According to Medical News Today, Sedentary Behavior Research Network (SBRN) defines a sedentary lifestyle as:

“…any activity involving sitting, reclining, or lying down that has a very low energy expenditure. The measurement for energy expenditure is metabolic equivalents (METs), and the authors consider activities that expend 1.5 METs or less of energy to be sedentary.”

Medical News Today also stated that leading a sedentary lifestyle is one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and even death.

“Extended periods of inactivity can reduce metabolism and impair the body’s ability to control blood sugar levels, regulate blood pressure, and break down fat”, the article also added.

Edward R. Laskowski, M.D., published his insights on the website about the risks of sitting too much. He mentioned:

“Any extended sitting — such as at a desk, behind a wheel or in front of a screen — can be harmful. An analysis of 13 studies of sitting time and activity levels found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking. However, unlike some other studies, this analysis of data from more than 1 million people found that 60 to 75 minutes of moderately intense physical activity a day countered the effects of too much sitting. Another study found that sitting time contributed little to mortality for people who were most active.”

This is why making sure that people can also do some movements, no matter how busy or stuck they are on their activities, can have a profound impact on their health.

In  a news release by the World Health Organization, it mentioned:

“Sedentary lifestyles increase all causes of mortality, double the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity, and increase the risks of colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders, depression and anxiety.”

The news also added:

“60 to 85% of people in the world—from both developed and developing countries—lead sedentary lifestyles, making it one of the more serious yet insufficiently addressed public health problems of our time. It is estimated that nearly two-thirds of children are also insufficiently active, with serious implications for their future health.”

This only proves that despite the various technologies and tools introduced nowadays, there are still health issues that can be experienced due to this kind of lifestyle.

OHS Canada stated that the health risks due to sedentary lifestyles have reached an alarming epidemic level. It mentioned in one of its posts:

“According to the Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian adults are not physically active for most of the day, with both men and women spending almost 70 percent of their waking hours in sedentary activities.”

However, there is also a great finding according to OHS. Standing workstations and using ergonomic tools can help decrease the disruptive behaviours while keeping focus on activities. This can be applied to both workers and students.

A 2014 study discussed the threat of physical inactivity as it becomes an alarming health concern that causes chronic diseases and complications. In the study, it was stressed out that the solution for that issue is movement. We can only get rid of the effects of a sedentary lifestyle by staying active and doing movements as much as possible. Movements and exercises can help lower the risk of chronic diseases.

An interesting article mentioned that today’s food and eating habits, when combined with a sedentary lifestyle, becomes a bigger issue. Dr. Kirimi Sindi, an agricultural economist said:

“When this happens, the excess energy taken in is converted to fat, creating high chances of becoming obese. Dr. Sindi goes on to add that these foods, coupled with sedentary lifestyles, lead to many non-communicable diseases that as a result of our lifestyle and hence called “lifestyle diseases”.

He also stated that there is a link between the consumption of ultra-processed foods and the increasing risk of diseases related to being sedentary.

We also published an article entitled “What Do Chiropractors Say About Standing Desks”. It mentioned how using a standing desk can help combat the effects of a sedentary lifestyle. It is actually advised by chiropractors. A part of the article stated:

“Sitting is also known to cause other health problems which can put your personal life and work performance at risk. Good thing chiropractors can also advise us to stay healthy despite such kind of work. Chiropractors, just like other health professionals, recommend people to invest in and use standing desks in the workplace. This can help prevent neck pain, back pain, and other discomfort caused by sitting.”

How Standing Desks Can Help Fight the Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle

Standing desks, along with other ergonomic accessories can make a big impact in combating the detrimental effects of a sedentary lifestyle.

One of the main solutions that can aid in evading and reducing the effects of sitting too much is to utilize standing desks. Using these ergonomic desks you can effectively adjust your body by shifting between sitting and standing. Various health conditions that can be aided by standing desks include digestive problems, back pain, neck pain, poor blood circulation, fatigue, and other chronic pain.

Standing desks can contribute to longevity. An interesting read about this explained:

 “Standing desks, converters, and height-adjustable desks are designed to let you do the same tasks you do when you are sitting. Ergonomic experts, as well as health professionals, recommend finding the perfect height of desks, so you can maintain a good posture while working. This will also help to avoid straining the neck and having back pains. Other standing desks even provide the feature to transition between standing and sitting, equipped with crank systems and motors to lower or raise them.”

Other ergonomic tools that you can use to prevent physical inactivity or sedentary lifestyle include desk converters, anti-fatigue mats, vertical mice, and ergonomic chairs.

Final Thoughts

Medical experts and ergonomic experts agreed that a sedentary lifestyle can bring adverse effects to the health and overall well-being of a person. This can also impact the quality of work and performance in the workplace. To fight or prevent these effects, the most important thing to remember is to stay active by doing movements, no matter how stuck we are on an activity. Standing desks, along with other ergonomic tools and accessories can help a lot. They do not only provide comfort but also long-term benefits to health and daily work performance.