You might actually want to stand up to fully grasp this new public health risk. Now, new research published in Businessweek ‘Your Office Chair is Killing You‘, has shown that sitting for too long is doing damage to our bodies. On average we spend almost nine hours a day in our chairs and this position is leading to new concerns about our health.
Researchers have found that sitting enables the muscles to completely relax, leading to an extreme drop in enzyme activity, and disabling fat from being properly moved throughout the bloodstream. Staying seated in a chair for only a couple of hours can cause healthy cholesterol levels to drop by 20%.
Are you standing up yet? If not, the chair you’re sitting in now is likely to be responsible for the problem. When you sit for long periods of time your lower lumbar curve collapses, hindering the supporting muscles of the abdomen and back. Not only do lean people stand for an average of two hours more than their counterparts do per day, those who spend more time seated in front of the TV or computer screen are much more likely to experience higher rates of hypertension, obesity and high blood sugar, regardless of weight.
So you may be wondering about possible alternatives to the typical desk chair?
- Try “perching”— which is a half-standing position at barstool height that maintains the natural S-curve in your back by keeping your weight on your legs instead.
- Take breaks from your desk and walk around the office to wake up your muscles and get your blood flowing.
- Request a standing desk or a chaise lounge from your employer.
- Be mindful of the amount of time you spend seated each day and reward your body with exercise when you are away from your desk.
Yours In Health,
Stella Metsovas B.S., CCN
Staff Writer: Michele Wolff