It has been proven that office workers are among the worst in the health-wise category of job types. Sitting all day, looking at computer screens and having snacks available can lead to excessive weight gain, while having elevators that take you to your floor, short walks to the bathroom and kitchen and lunch being delivered are all also contributing factors.
Recently, there has been much debate about the effects of sitting for too many hours at a time on your health, and the discussion of employing standing desks in offices to combat problems caused by sitting. But is standing instead of sitting the answer to health issues such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure?
Sitting for too long can cause a higher risk of death from heart disease and a higher risk of being disabled, as well as a lack of movement that contributes to poor mental health and a slower metabolic rate. Sitting time has also been linked with high blood pressure and too much belly fat, which worsens risk rates for types of lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes and some types of cancer.
Enduring long hours at your desk has also been linked to posture problems, which can cause a range of issues within your body, as well as undesirable physical characteristics.
Standing at your desk while you work has been seen as the light from heaven, the saviour to all health problems caused by being sedentary for so long. Standing can increase your metabolic rate, can help you to digest sugars easier and can also improve your heart, which means less of a risk of the aforementioned diseases. Standing and moving around during the day may also help with weight loss.
But standing for too long can also have side effects. Our circulatory system needs to work harder to counter the effects of gravity, and this can sometimes lead to swelling or cramping of the legs. So how do you stay healthy at work?
Try to move as much as possible and get out of your chair every 20 minutes or so. Take breaks when needed and walk around the office when you can. You could even invest in an active chair to keep you moving during the day, stand up on public transport and take a walk around your desk while you’re on the phone.
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