Every morning, people wake up and get ready for work. Once they step into the office, they end up spending 6 to 8 to 10 hours sitting in the office chair. This is only interrupted by the few breaks one takes for example when going to the office kitchen to prepare a snack. For others, the only time they have a break is when they leave the office for home.
According to studies conducted by researchers, prolonged sitting exposes you to several health risks. This affects your health not only on a short term basis but on long term basis too. The one thing people don’t know is that the human body is designed for regular movement. Majority of employees do not fit regular exercises within the day to counter the negative effects of sitting in an office chair for several hours. This contributes to a sedentary lifestyle.
Here are the health risks of sitting down for too long with no breaks.
1. Slow metabolism
According to medical experts, decreased muscle contraction occurs with prolonged sitting. This has been found to slow down the clearance of fat from the blood stream. Furthermore, it decreases the effects of insulin. How does this happen? Sitting down after eating results in the compression of abdominal contents. This slows down digestion. When this happens, your body will experience cramping, bloating, heart burn and constipation. Other negative effects include dysbiosis in the gastrointestinal tract. This is a condition caused by microbial imbalances in the body. This may result in extra intestinal disorders like allergy, asthma, metabolic syndrome and obesity among others.
2. Organ damage
The body is composed of several organs where each has a useful purpose geared towards the well being of the person. Some of the most important organs in the body include the lungs, heart, pancreas, stomach, kidneys and the brain. When you sit for a long period without any meaningful exercise, your body will burn less fat causing the blood to flow slowly. This allows fatty acids to clog your heart. This is why sitting has been linked to health conditions like high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, your pancreas may over produce insulin leading to diabetes.
3. Posture problems
When sitting at your desk using the computer or a laptop, it is common for your head and neck to slant forward. This leads to straining of the cervical vertebrae along with permanent imbalances. The result is strain around the neck, sore shoulders and back. Sitting for a prolonged duration puts pressure on your spine than when using standing desks. It is even worse if you hunch your back. According to studies, over 40% of patients with back pain have spent long hours at the computer each day. The discs in your back are designed to expand and contract when you move. This allows the absorption of blood and nutrients. When you sit, they are compressed which increases the chances of herniated disks.
4. Loss of brain power
Working at an office means meeting different targets every day. To achieve them, you need to employ creativity. When you sit at your desk for prolonged periods even if you are engaged in the most stimulating of jobs, your brain can be clouded. One thing you need to know is that moving muscles helps to pump fresh blood and oxygen to the brain. This triggers the release of mood enhancing chemicals.
5. Results in muscle degeneration
If you have been working hard to tighten your muscles or achieve a six pack, then you need to know your efforts are fruitless if you spend more than 8 hours sitting down. Extended period of sitting makes your muscles around the mid section to become mushy. This is the same with your legs. The glutes end up becoming limp which leads to leg pain, loss of stability, muscle cramp and fatigue.
So, how do you continue working at your office, meet your targets and drive the organization forward? The answer is investing in adjustable height desks. Here are its benefits.
a. Did you know that standing allows you to burn 50 calories every hour? This is why a sit-stand desk lowers obesity risk
b. Reduces the occurrence of cancer because the C-reactive protein is lowered
c. Ensures longer life
d. Improves your posture and reduces eye strain
e. Improves your mood and energy levels
f. Boosts your productivity
Types of sit-stand desk
1. Height adjustable desks
They have a low cost outlay and are easy to assemble. Height adjustment is done once when building the desk itself.
2. Spring loaded adjustable desks
It is fitted with a release and locking lever that allows you to alter the top height. The counterbalance mechanisms rely on weights and they work in similar fashion to an office seat height adjuster.
3. Treadmill adjustable height desks
This is designed to provide the benefit of exercising while working. You can walk on the treadmill while working on your desk. This helps you to exercise your limbs and improve blood circulation.
4. Crank height adjustable desks
They are popular and are adjusted by means of a cranked handle. This raises and lowers the desk work surface.
5. Electric adjustable height desk
They are the easiest and most flexible form of sit-stand desks. To adjust its height, all you need is to press a few buttons. It is easy to use and eliminates the need of prolonged sitting.