As our workplaces become more digital and a greater amount of the workforce finds themselves behind a desk for 8 hours a day, the health effects of prolonged sitting have become a major concern. We, here at your friendly Toronto chiropractic clinic, want to give you a few pointers on determining if you’re at risk of issues related to prolonged sitting, and the best ways to break up your day to improve your overall health.
Who Does This Effect?
While body weight can increase the severity of the risks, prolonged sitting can have a negative impact on everyone. In fact, studies have shown that even physically active, light-weight subjects such as children and teenagers can have their glucose and insulin levels negatively affected by prolonged sitting.
In other words, everyone can benefit from breaking up stretches of prolonged sitting.
While it’s not the best solution, simply standing for two minutes every half-hour or hour can greatly mitigate the damage done by prolonged periods of sitting.
This solution is necessary for positions where you’re unable to leave your desk while you work. Just stand on your feet and give the muscles of your legs, back, and shoulders a good stretch before sitting back down and resuming your task.
The ‘Light Meandering’
Most of the risks observed in studies about prolonged sitting can be mitigated with little more than two minutes of light exercise. Instead of simply standing, spend two minutes walking around. Many jobs can incorporate this into your day, using the standing-time to distribute mail, collaborate with coworkers, observe underlings, or take a bathroom break.
While light exercise is great, moderate-to-heavy exercise is exceptional. In addition to negating any negative effects caused by sitting, moderate-to-heavy exercise for two minutes every hour or so can improve your overall health, increasing your body’s metabolism and improving its ability to handle the glucose and insulin levels that sitting can throw off-kilter.
There are a number of exercises that can be done at your desk such as squats, lunges, and running in place—provided you aren’t too self-conscious. If you work from home or have a spacious enough office, an exercise bike or treadmill can help in this respect as well.
Can I Just Exercise After?
Unfortunately, the answer is ‘not quite’. While you still gain the health benefits of hitting the gym after work, and it does counteract some of the more grave health risks (such as heart disease and some cancers) according to some studies, other studies have observed a large clump of exercise afterwards doesn’t work to mitigate all of the effects of prolonged sitting.
In other words, it’s certainly better than nothing, but even the most regular fitness fanatics could benefit from standing up and walking around a bit to break up the day.
The Toronto Chiropractic Clinic
Your health plays a massive role in the risks of prolonged sitting. Sitting can tax the circulatory system in your legs and a responsive nervous system can help your body manage glucose and insulin levels—both of which can be improved through regular chiropractic adjustments.
If you find yourself sitting for prolonged periods, make sure that it doesn’t have an adverse effect on your health. Schedule an appointment with your local Bayview Finch Toronto Chiropractic Clinic today!