St Paul MN Chiropractor | Sitting Disease Part 2
The Tech-age is clearly upon us. Young and old, near and far, this is truly a different world. Thanks to technological advances, the Internet, and an increasingly longer work week, electronic living has all but zapped every flicker of activity from our daily lives. Unfortunately, we live in a world where it’s easy to be glued to our computers—sending e-mails, playing video games, shopping—both during and after work. And, it’s awfully tempting just to plop down in front of the TV after a long day at work, too. Someone who spends hours on end each day sitting at a computer may already know that they are at risk for a host of musculoskeletal disorders related to monitor, keyboard and mouse use. Now we have sitting disease.
Over the last few years, the evidence has become overwhelming — sitting all day long is a killer. Office or home — it doesn’t matter. Risks include heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and deep vein thrombosis.
Continued from Part 1
Sure, it seems harmless, but time spent sitting is invariably time spent not moving. An article in the NY Times said that sitting for extended periods of time is strongly linked with increased mortality and metabolic syndrome, regardless of how much exercise a sitter gets.
Workers who used computers while sitting were at an even high risk. One Australian study (PDF) concluded that office workers “who spend high amounts of time sitting at work tend to spend high amounts of time sitting on non work days.” In other words, it may be that sedentary employees really do take their work home with them.
Too many people think they don’t have to worry as long as they get their ‘dose’ of working out each day,” Mark Tremblay, obesity and activity researcher at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, told Reuters Health. However, he says, “Getting your 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week is not a guarantee against chronic disease.”
So what can we do to get on our feet more? For work, a stand-up desk might help — or even a treadmill desk, if you’re feeling more high-tech. Office workers even found they liked standing at their desk. Sit-stand devices used in the Take-a-Stand Project in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2011. The Take-a-Stand Project was a partnership with a sit-stand device manufacturer, Ergotron, Inc, Eagan, Minnesota. So why not incorporate devices into your routines that are designed to encourage you to sit OR stand? A study (@ CDC.gov) shows these products are effective in reducing prolonged sitting.
Office workers who spent an hour or so a day at stand-up workstations felt more energized, productive and even happier, researchers reported on Thursday. And if they keep it up, they may help reduce the damage done by sitting at a desk all day.
But we can’t forget the lifestyle factor to consider outside of work — especially if we are spending most of our free time sitting. “Try to find a healthy balance between sitting, standing and walking or other physical activities,” Hidde van deer Ploeg, the study’s lead author, told Reuters Health.
Another report cited in a recent New York Times Magazine story tracked 123,000 Americans and found the death rate for those who spent six or more hours a day sitting was 20% higher than for men who sat for three hours or less. For women, the difference was 40%. No one’s really sure exactly why that’s the case. You certainly burn fewer calories sitting than you do standing and moving around, but weight gain isn’t necessarily the primary reason that sitting is so bad for you.
No one is suggesting that you have to stand or walk for 100 percent of your time of course, just try to find a healthy balance between sitting, standing and walking or other physical activities. It’s is not just about increasing physical activity, but also decreasing inactivity. Try small moves throughout the day. It’s good to take microbreaks. Make a point of getting up every half hour or so and walk around. Simply walking around the office, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Also do so-called incidental physical activities, or activities in your everyday life that are not exercise per se, but get you moving nonetheless. Pretty much anything that will decrease your chair time. As in… get off your duff!
who sit at desks for hours on end