Living a sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for a variety of health complications including obesity, heart disease and some cancers, contributing to over three million preventable deaths every year. Sitting too much can be the result of a variety of factors; from working in an office job which requires you to be at a desk all day, to basing most recreational activities inside (such as watching television), injuries which inhibit movement or simply being uninspired to get up and move around.
Why is sitting bad?
Sitting for long periods of time has recently been equated with the negative health effects of smoking, and while this is an over-exaggeration (sitting more than eight hours a day increasing your risk of premature death by 10-20%, while smoking increases your risk of premature death from any cause by approximately 180%), it does bring to bear how bad for us constantly sitting is. Sitting for excessive periods of time has the following negative effects:
Being sedentary however, is a lifestyle choice which can easily be changed. Making simple amendments to your day to day routine can mitigate the negative effects of excessive sitting, these simple tweaks can include:
Modern lifestyles which involve working from desks, coupled with the increased use of devices and screens for recreational activity all mean we are engaging in a more sedentary lifestyle. However, by ensuring that we make time for physical activity and modify our day to day behaviours to incorporate more standing time, we can drastically boost our overall health and well-being.
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Mental Health and Physical Activity Volume 6, Issue 2, June 2013, Pages 103-109