If you’re reading this chances are you’re sitting inside a train, car, bus, in some nice coffee shop in the heart of the city, or even your work desk. And as much as we’d rather be anywhere, we can’t really avoid being stuck in front of our computer in the office. We need money and money won’t grow on trees so we have to work for a decent living and a decent living requires a lot of sitting (bless those who don’t have to sit around for work!).
Several studies show sitting is really, really bad for you. This says:
Research suggests that, on average, adults are quite sedentary spending ?7.7 hours/day involved in activities resulting in very low energy expenditure…for any given amount of time spent riding in a car, men who were physically active maintained lower Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) mortality rates than men who were classified as physically inactive. Research indicates that physical activity is protective against CVD mortality, and that less-active individuals have a greater associated risk of obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and some forms of cancer, thus resulting in increased mortality.
The main issue is your metabolism slows down to 1 calorie per minute whereas the “normal” resting metabolism, according to the study, is 1.7-2 calories per minute (the physically fit can burn up to 5 calories per minute). It doesn’t look much but the fact that this snowballs day in and day out means you can actually lose up to twice the amount of weight per year .
A lower metabolic rate would result to an increase in fat stores. Increased fat stores would elevate lipids in the blood and will make the person more likely to suffer from CVDs such as hypertension which, if not remedied thru exercise or other lifestyle changes, could result to stroke or heart failure. The likelihood discussed in the study is also due to surveys conducted on people who have CVD. Most were found to be mostly sedentary or spent at least 8 hours a day sitting down.
This article even goes on to say just one hour of sitting increases diabetes risk!
The researchers calculated that each additional hour of being sedentary increased the chances of a person having diabetes by 22%. It made little difference whether people sat for long periods or got up for regular breaks the important thing was the overall amount of time spent sedentary.
The Pains of Sitting Down
The risk of death is just but one of the many things we have to be wary of when sitting down. You know those different kinds of pain we feel in the morning? Those are most likely a result of sitting too.
Your back muscles — particularly the erector spinae muscles, which run parallel to your spine — are affected when you remain seated for long periods of time. Unless you’re maintaining proper posture when you’re sitting around, this can seriously affect your spine and even cause permanent problems such as back pain and damage to spinal structures.
The legs contain generic levitra super force more muscle groups than any other region of your body and therefore take a significant impact when you remain inactive for long periods of time. Even if you’re just sitting for multiple hours, if it’s a regular thing you’re going to notice your quads, hamstrings, and calves are changing, becoming less toned and perky as your muscles get smaller and less defined. You might notice the effects first on your upper legs and hips, where fat deposits are common. This is largely due to the fact that fat in this area tends to be less metabolically active than the fat on other areas of the body.
If you spend a lot of time sitting around, you may also notice changes in the muscles in your arms because they’re not active. There are a few major muscle groups that make up the arms — the biceps sit at front on your upper arms, the triceps at back and the forearms in your lower arms. The triceps are a common area for fat deposits, meaning you’re most likely to notice excess, flabby skin in this area on your arms.
The gluteal muscles in your buttocks are some of the most affected muscles from inactivity. The buttocks is made up of three major muscle groups: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles. Over time, if you’re sitting around and not working out these muscles, they become soft and undefined, leaving your butt looking flat and misshapen. Not only that, but there are potential health consequences as well, such as bouts of low back pain and conditions like piriformis syndrome.
Here’s an interesting video about sitting too much and what it can do to your health
5 Exercises You Can Do At Your Desk!
Okay so sitting down is not only bad for our heart but our muscles take a beating too. Well, the only solution is to not sit down, right? But we can’t really not sit down so the next best thing is to be more active in front of our desks. Yes, that is actually a possible thing! Here are what we at FitEngine think are are the top 5 exercises you can do at your desk! Take note: These exercises are better if you take your shoes off otherwise try to wear something that can stretch to prevent injury and to preserve your expensive office footwear!
One of the simplest and most effective exercises of all actually works a lot like sitting down but without a chair. The squat works virtually all major muscle groups which should keep your muscles worked up even when you finally sit back down again.
Lunges work like the squat but with more emphasis on your glutes and core muscles. Say goodbye to stiff back muscles or that annoying “butt pain” each time you sit.
3. Sitting Spinal stretch
This is one of those exercises you can do while actually seated on your desk chair. Feel your back tightening? Go spin a little to left, a little to the right, and repeat until the back pain is gone! Go as far back as you can without feeling discomfort so you can maximize the use of your back and core.
4. Tricep dips
You think your arms need more than just the usual overhead stretch? Try this exercise and see how low you can go without wanting to stand back up again!
5. Jumping Jacks
If all else fails, your favorite PE class exercise should get your muscles back to what they should be: flexible, strong, and working. This is also a pretty fun workout to do with a few friends who might need five minutes of movement so rack up the reps and jump as many times as you can.
Sitting at your desk the whole day doesn’t have to be something you have to live with for the rest of your life. Yes, sitting for long periods may not be as avoidable as we want but we can always work around that by trying to be as active as possible. These five exercises were chosen for their simplicity and the fact that you can perform them right in front of your desk. Just remember to do one or all of them the next time you feel like moving around.