Sitting for a prolonged time
On the office chair, in the car, on the couch: Most people sits too often and for too long periods. Among other things, this increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The solution: More exercise – in everyday life and when sitting.
It starts with at the school desk – while sitting. Later, most people go on to office desks – on an office chair. And even after work, a lot happens sitting down: driving, watching TV, eating. At the latest, when the back hurts from tension and the legs are heavy as lead, the question arises as to how healthy a predominantly sedentary lifestyle is at all. Prolonged sitting, eight or more hours a day on a chair, is not something the human body is not prepared for, doctors have agreed on this for a long time.
Prolonged periods of sitting increases the risks of disease
Prolonged periodes of sitting and lack of exercise can cause development of various diseases. Thus, by sitting for a long time, calorie consumption decreases. The metabolism as well as the cardiovascular system run on idle speed. The risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases such as diabetes increases. Sitting for a long time also strains the veins in the legs. When sitting, the blood “sinks” more easily to the legs and thereby burdens the blood vessels. The reason: The calf muscle pump, which actively supports the blood flow in the leg veins while walking and, pumps the blood back to the heart, is in resting mode when sitting. If you sit on a chair, you are bending your knees and hips. Both 90-degree angles makes it difficult for the blood to flow back to the heart. As a result, the blood accumulates or stands still, the legs can swell up. Sitting for a prolonged time, for example on an airplane, can even lead to thrombosis. In connective tissue weakness, impaired blood circulation can promote the development of varicose veins.
Poor posture due to prolonged sitting
Sagging shoulders, sunken chest and ball belly – the posture also suffers from sitting for prolonged periods. Because muscles that are not used become slack Working on the screen also forces the body permanently into a forced posture. The head is tilted forward, the shoulders cramp, and pain in the shoulder and neck area is not infrequently the result of this poor posture. Sitting on office chairs for too long can also cause the leg muscles to atrophy over time if there is no exercise. The problem: An initial weak posture can eventually turn into irreversible postural damage. Then the intervertebral discs flatten and the skeleton deforms.
More exercise in between
Employees in the office cannot avoid sitting on office chairs for long periods of time, just like colleagues who sit on an office chair in the control center for eight to twelve hours and coordinate the fire brigade’s operations. If you only sit at work, you need one of the so-called control center office chairs or 24-hour office chairs, which make it possible to sit for a long time and move around at the same time. But a few practical everyday tips are also important: Small breaks should be possible everywhere. Doctors recommend changing your sitting position frequently and actively looking for opportunities to move. This can be a few steps to a colleague or a trip to the canteen. Even a few steps in between boost the circulation and blood flow from the legs. If you have to sit for a long time on a plane, bus or in an office chair, you can help yourself with gymnastic exercises. Inconspicuous gymnastics while sitting is sometimes even possible at the office desk. Recreational sport is very important. If you have to sit for a long time at work, you should put on your sneakers after work and jog a few laps around the block. Swimming is even better, as water sports take the strain off your joints.