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Ways to Counteract the Damages that Sitting does to Your Body

Let’s learn how sitting damages your body and what can you do to oppose these effects.

Office Health By Ariba Khaliq / Apr 30, 2014

Sitting is Killing You

Do you sit in an office chair or on your couch for more than six hours a day? Well, your risk of heart disease has increased by up to 64 percent; you're shaving off seven years of quality life, and you're also more at risk for certain types of cancer. That's the bad news. The good news: It's easy to counteract. Let’s learn how sitting damages your body and what can you do to oppose these effects. Image Courtesy: Getty Images


Two Weeks of Sitting...

For more than six hours a day- within five days of changing to a sedentary lifestyle, your body increases plasma triglycerides (fatty molecules), LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), and insulin resistance. This means your muscles aren't taking in fat and your blood sugar levels go up, putting you at risk for weight gain. Too scary to believe? Wait for the next slide. Image Courtesy: Getty Images


One Year of Sitting...

For more than six hours a day- after a year, the longer term effects of sitting can start to manifest subtly. According to this study by Nature, you might start to experience weight gain and high cholesterol. Studies in woman suggest you can lose up to 1 percent of bone mass a year by sitting for over six hours a day. Image Courtesy: Getty Images


A Decade of Sitting...

For more than six hours a day- sitting for over six hours a day for a decade or two can cut away about seven quality adjusted life years (the kind you want). It increases your risk of dying of heart disease by 64 percent and your overall risk of prostate or breast cancer increases 30 percent. Image Courtesy: Getty Images


Walk Around the Office

Stretch and hop a little every now and then. Prank your friends. Just move around! Take breaks every hour or so and move your body. Offer to stroll in the park or around the block rather than sitting down and eating something you probably don't need. Image Courtesy: Getty Images


Stand Up

Whenever you're on the phone, take it as an opportunity to walk—or at least stand. Most people feel—and sound—more engaged when they're on their feet, so you'll make a better impression on the phone if you're up and about anyway. Image Courtesy: Getty Images



There are many sites online that offer ideas for exercising on your chair. You might even consider a small set of weights. There are also gym programs for computers that warn you when it is time to take a break and offer you exercise options. Image Courtesy: Getty Images


Take the Stairs Instead of the Elevator

This is a simple but effective exercise. At the base of the stairs, put your toes at the edge of the base step and lower your heels to the ground and then stretch up on the balls of your feet. Do these five times to give the calves a thorough workout. Image Courtesy: Getty Images


Miss your stop ... on purpose.

If you use public transportation, try getting off a stop before or a stop after the one most convenient to your destination. You'll be able to squeeze in 10 or 15 minutes of pleasant walking and maybe get to know your neighbourhood a little better at the same time. Image Courtesy: Getty Images


Disorganise Your Desk

Yes, we mean it; and it has a purpose. Set up your work station so you have to reach for things rather than keeping them within an arm's reach. Put the file cabinet and wastebasket a ways away so you have to walk over to them. See? Image Courtesy: Getty Images


Switch off the Damn Television

TV commercials are trashy. Instead of wasting time watching the same car commercial you've seen for the last 20 years, consider the commercial break a chance to stand and stretch. Image Courtesy: Getty Images


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