In today’s world, if you work in an office, unless you have a desk that can adjust to a standing height, chances are that you sit almost the entire day. From eating breakfast at home in the morning and driving your car to watching TV and working at your desk, you are sitting far more than you are being active. What’s so wrong with all this sitting? Continue reading today’s post as we dive into the dangers of too much sitting.
At Zense Thai Massage Spa in Dallas, we offer a variety of massage therapy options to help release some of the tension that can build up in your muscles from a variety of activities, including too much sitting. If you are feeling aches, pains, or stiffness, contact us today to schedule your massage therapy session.
Some studies have shown that, contrary to popular opinion, working out really hard once a day won’t be able to combat the negative effects of extended amounts of sitting. In fact, it’s far more effective to include light activity throughout the day, including walking, climbing stairs, and more.
Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle on Your Body
Legs and Butt
The large muscle groups in your legs and gluteal region are responsible for providing stability and strength to your body when you walk, run, or jump. The more time you spend sitting, the weaker they become, which means that you are more susceptible to sustaining an injury from a fall.
Hips and Back
Just like the large muscles in your legs and butt, the muscles in your hips and back also assist with stabilization and strength. The more you sit, the more likely that the hip muscles will begin to shorten, which can lead to very painful issues in your hip joints. Additionally, if you have poor posture during these extended periods of sitting, your spine will be impacted negatively, which could lead to an early degeneration of the disks.
One of the primary benefits of being active is that your body uses the fats and sugars in its system for energy. Lots of sitting means that your digestion isn’t working as well, which means the fats and sugars are staying in your body longer. Over time, your weight can increase, which can lead to numerous health issues.
Anxiety and Depression
While there are many things that can cause anxiety and depression, a lack of activity can play a significant role. In fact, the risk of developing anxiety and depression appears to be higher for those who sit for long periods of time. When you exercise, endorphins (hormones) are released into your system, which make you feel good. Incorporate some light physical exercise into your day to help fight off anxiety and depression.
Sitting for long periods of time has been linked to heart disease. In fact, there are studies that suggest there is a significant increase in the risk of developing heart disease or sustaining a stroke for those who spend a lot of time sitting, whether at work or at home watching television.
One factor that will put you at a much higher risk of developing diabetes is prolonged inactivity. There are studies that have indicated a link between increased insulin resistance and lying in bed (being sedentary) for multiple days in a row.
Stiff Neck and Shoulders
Perhaps unsurprisingly is the fact that the muscles in your neck and shoulders tend to take the brunt of sitting at a desk. Typically, this comes from poor posture and hunching over your keyboard.
Ways to Combat These Negative Effects
Incorporate More Physical Activity
The good news is that you don’t have to run right out and create a gym membership. In fact, we’re sure that more than just a few of you breathed a sigh of relief just now. Instead, focus on breaking up the time that you sit so that you are being active more than sedentary throughout the day. A few things you can try, include:
Walk or bike to work if possible
Use the stairs instead of the elevator
Park farther away from the door to get a few more steps in
If you take the bus, get off one stop early and walk the rest of the way
If you have an adjustable desk, be sure to work standing up at least once every hour
Activity at Home
If you’re like most people, the last thing you feel like doing when you get home from work is engaging in physical activity. If you just need to sit down and gather yourself together after a long day, then make sure to set a time limit so that you don’t spend the rest of your evening sitting down. In fact, here are some tips for increasing your activity when you’re home:
Cook your meals instead of ordering out — you’ll do a bit of standing and walking
Have a dance party with your littles while your food is in the oven
Take a leisurely stroll after dinner — this will also aid in digestion
Wash the dishes with your partner instead of using the dishwasher
While there are plenty of fun activities to enjoy on the weekends, we wanted to focus instead on providing some options for you to try during your workday and weekday evenings. We hope that you find our tips and suggestions helpful with breaking up your periods of sedentary activity.
At Zense Thai Massage Spa in Dallas, we are proud to offer some of the most wonderful massage therapy services you’ll ever experience. Whether you prefer gentle massage or deep tissue massage, we can help. Contact our massage therapy salon to schedule your appointment today.