My Journey to Wellness: Loving to Stand

We all know that people who sit a lot have the tendency of health risk brought by frequent sitting. It was proven that standing at least 6 hours a day can significantly decrease the probability of obesity for both women and man. If you choose to stand rather than sit, it will reduce the risk of heart disease. According to some research, standing for 2 hours can lower the blood sugar similar to doing fasting. That is why sedentary lifestyle should be prevented early.

Standing is also essential for your emotional and physical health. As sitting for extended periods can cause health issues. There are also studies that if you have a decreased range of motion, there is a tendency for decreased bowel function, decreased respiratory function and other risk associated with sitting.

Standing during work has many health benefits. The question is, are we ready to take on the challenge? because it will make a big difference in our habits before and this will entail a lot of changes.

Exercise cannot offset sitting all day

Those who exercised frequently when they were not at the office experienced an increased risk of death when seated for eight hours a day. There was research that found those who moved more were healthier overall. However, they also found that it correlates between death rates and how many hours they spent seated during the day. In other words, there was a difference between the time spent seated and the risk of early death.

There are studies that even if you do aerobic exercise regularly to combat a sedentary lifestyle, is not enough as a replacement for all those long hours you spend sitting at work or car. Even if you exercise 30 minutes a day, it may not be able to counteract the effects brought by inactivity.

What happens to your body when you sit all day

While in the seated position, the muscles burn less fat and blood flows more sluggishly. Prolonged sitting can lead to hypertension, and recent studies have shown women who sit for 10 hours a day may have a significantly greater risk of developing heart disease than those who sit for five hours or less.

Sitting increases the risk of colon, breast, lung, uterine and endometrial cancers. This is due to an excess insulin production encouraging cell growth or a reduction in from antioxidants regular movement boosts in your body.

Another risk may be related to weight gain and associated biochemical changes, such as alterations in hormones, metabolic dysfunction, leptin dysfunction and inflammation.

Sitting after eating may slows digestion and compresses your abdominal contents. This can lead to cramping, bloating, heartburn and constipation, as well as dysbiosis in your gastrointestinal tract.

There's growing evidence that sitting is associated with the pathogenesis of intestinal and extra-intestinal disorders, including inflammatory, irritable bowel syndrome. This can also develop allergies, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and obesity.

While working, we sit with head and neck forward at a computer or cradling a phone. This leads to strain with permanent imbalances, which can lead to neck strain, sore shoulders and back. Sitting can increases pressure on your spine and becomes worse if you are sitting hunched over. People with back pain usually have spent long hours at their computer each day.

Standing requires your core muscles to be engaged, which often go unused when you sit in a slouched position. Hips may also suffer, becoming tight with a limited range of motion as they are rarely extended. This may lead to decreased mobility and falls in the elderly. Sitting has the risk of gluteal muscles, affecting your stability and the power of your stride.

How can you prevent sitting all day and eliminate sedentary lifestyle

  1. Getting up and walking around the office or a quick stroll outside. Making this habit five times a day is right for your body.
  2. Walk over and visit your co-workers a day instead of sending an electronic message. The benefit of this is that it cuts down the back and forth messages.
  3. Try to commute once a week via train or bus so you can stand and walk at the same time.
  4. Park your car a few blocks away from your office so that you can walk one or two blocks from your office.
  5. You may also move objects you commonly use out of reach, so you're required to get up if you need to throw something or grab something off the printer for instance.
  6. Make it a habit of drinking 4 to 6 ounces of water every hour and place your container water from home in the refrigerator. This way you'll have to get up to fill your glass and will likely get up to use the bathroom on a more frequent basis.
  7. Have a standing desk an individual user can work while standing upright. It is a desk used for writing or reading while standing up or while sitting on a high chair or stool. It is a desk that allows you to work comfortably while standing.

This new year brings a lot of new changes, old habits such as frequent or prolonged sitting should be changed. Change should not be forced nor implement immediately. It takes time for us to get used to a new habit. We can start by moving a little, 10 minutes for every hour of sitting. This can reduce adverse effects, ideally based on studies; we should not be sitting any more than 3 hours each day. We need to use the correct posture to reduce strain on lower back and neck. By simply taking a sit and rise test, we will be able to figure out strategies which will make us move and get up more frequently.