How Prolonged Sitting Affects Your Health

Spending your entire day perched behind a desk in your office can create an array of health problems for you later in life. Long hours spent typing and staring into a computer screen can raise your average risk for developing problems like swollen ankles, varicose veins, blood clots, diabetes, misaligned hips, carpel tunnel syndrome, weight gain, and dry eyes.

You could experience even bigger problems that directly or indirectly result from sitting too much. The longer you stay in your chair, the less fat your muscles burn and the slower your blood flows. That can increase the amount of fatty acids that can collect around your heart.

Then there’s the damage extended periods of sitting can do to your back. If you don’t move during the day, your spine could be damaged by little things like reaching for a book or picking up a pen off the floor. Movement keeps the spine healthy. When we don’t move, our back becomes less flexible which can lead to sprains, pulls and herniated disks.

To keep from getting hurt, practice proper ergonomics. When sitting, keep your elbows and knees bent at 90-degree angles. If you find yourself slouching, try using a stability ball or backless chair to engage your core muscles while working. Also plan to take a quick walk break every hour. Set a reminder for yourself on a watch or phone. Finally, do some simple stretches to wake your body up and get the blood flowing. Flexing your hips and back periodically will help you stay feeling good all day long.

If you need a helpful reminder about the importance of proper posture and the dangers of sitting, you can download and print this infographic for use around your office.