The side effects of sitting for long periods of time

The side effects of sitting for long periods of time

With the coronavirus lockdown, you might find yourself sitting at your desk for longer periods of time than before. If you are not working, you might be preoccupied sitting on your couch watching TV. While you cannot stop sitting altogether, it is important to manage how long you sit.

What exactly happens to our body when we sit for long periods of time?

Sitting for long periods of time can affect the way our body metabolizes, puts us at a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases, and can affect the nerves in our bodies. When our muscles are not in use, they can become weak. A common problem area is that our hip flexors can become very tight from excess sitting. When this happens, it is possible to experience difficulties with mobility. While these are all long-term outcomes of sitting too much, it is important to understand the simple ways to change your daily habits to avoid these from becoming your reality.

Daily habits to note

Observe how you sit at your desk. Do you strain your neck or slouch while looking at your computer screen? If the answer is yes, remind yourself to sit up straight and plant your feet firmly on the ground. Having a good computer chair with ample back support will help with your posture.

Set a timer to get up and stretch every 30 minutes. Every hour, walk around for a few minutes. Walking will help stimulate blood flow, burn some calories, and improve your overall mood. If you’re still at home, try and take one or two trips up your stairs every hour. Another easy way of reducing your sitting time is to take phone calls while standing or walking around your work area.

After work, do a few stretches to alleviate some tension that may be built up in your neck, back, arms, and legs. With each day that passes, you will feel less tension in your body if you practice these small lifestyle changes. Slowly but gradually, with more consistent movement and better stretching habits, you will be able to cultivate healthy habits for more ease and comfort!