Dear friends, as we know that, there is a boom growth in digitization today. In modern work culture, most of desk workers (specially youngsters) are spending 9 hours or more per day in sitting position in front of screen. Most of the time it is in same posture at their workplace with no physical activity.
Wrong sitting position can cause many problems for your health. People also faced severe health risks similar as by smoking and obesity.
The World Health Organization ranks physically inactivity as 4th largest cause of diseases globally.
As per WHO,
“Even if you achieve your physical activity goals but remain seated 8 hours a day, you can’t undo the negative effects of excessive sitting.”
As per Dr. Stuart Biddle, professor of active living & public health, Victoria university Australia;
“Even if you exercise for at least 30 minutes most days, you are still storing up health problem from being sedentary too much, the message is clear- move more and sit less”.
Side effects of excessive sitting:
Sitting too much can be hazardous to our health like smoking and increases the risk of brain, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, premature death and other many diseases. Let’s discuss in points-
1) Weight gain:
According to the American Heart Association, there’s a theory that,
“Not using the muscles enough can lead to abnormal blood fat profiles through the suppression of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase, which can convert “bad” cholesterol into good, among other functions which can leads to weight gain.”
Additionally, when you are sitting still your insulin levels drop by 24% which can increasing the risk of diabetes.
2) Brain disorders:
Too much sitting can cause Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, dementia. As per UCLA (University of California – Los Angeles) researchers,
“Sedentary behavior is a significant predictor of thinning of the medial temporal lobe (an area in brain) and that physical activity, even at high levels, is insufficient to offset the harmful effects of sitting for extended periods.”
(source: University of California – Los Angeles).
As per lead researcher UWA (University of Western Australia) PhD student Michael Wheeler,
“The brain is a powerful organ but it needs a stable glucose supply to function optimally. Glucose levels outside that optimal range can have a negative impact on brain health.”
Mr. Michael Wheeler said that,
“Our brain weighs about two per cent of our body mass but demands about 20 per cent of our resting energy requirements, which is mostly in the form of glucose – the primary brain fuel”.
3) Heart Problems and organ damage:
Excessive sitting can lead a condition in which the heart becomes progressively weaker and unable to pump enough blood to keep the rest of the body oxygenated and well. It can cause heart failure and various organ damage too.
4) Alignment/ Posture Problems:
- Negative effect of bad posture can lead to Spine problems and back injury
- Digestion problems
5) Carpal tunnel syndrome:
- A common condition that cause pain, numbness and tingling in arms because of nerve pinched in the wrist
- Sciatic nerve pain or discomfort
- Reduce the back flow of blood and cause swelling in wrist joints
Correct sitting posture on your work desk:
1) Support for upper and lower back on chair:
We should try to push our hips to back as they can go in the chair till last and upper back should be supported to reduce pressure.
2) Seat height adjustment to fit our body:
The height of seat should be adjusted. The highest point of the seat (horizontally) should be just below the knee cap and elbows form a 90-degree angle, when hands resting on the desk top during sitting.
3) Angel for sitting:
Optimal angle should to be between 100 to 130 degrees. It’s not practically possible to measure angels every time. You can take an example from below image-
4) Position of hands on keyboard:
Elbows should hang comfortably at the side of the body and hands should be in level in elbows and hands and forearms should be at 90 degrees. We should avoid our wrist to bend on keyboard.
5) Adjustment of computer screen at eye level:
The height of top portion of the monitor screen should be slightly below to eye level by which viewing position would be proper on middle of the monitor screen.
Support of feet with floor: During sitting on the chair, keep your feet on the floor, the position of feet should be flat on floor.
6) Short breaks:
Short and frequent breaks during our work to avoid long sitting is very good practice to keep our body healthy and active.
Statistical research of risk with excessive sitting:
Researchers from Loughborough University and the University of Leicester (a public research university in the UK) in 2011 involved 800000 people and found that the people was sitting more in comparison to those who were sitting less had more lifestyle disease.
Sitting for long time can lead to varicose veins (enlarged, dilated and overfilled with blood) in lower legs and deep vein thrombosis (blood clots forms in a veins) located deep inside our body.
How to avoid sitting too long:
- Should stand and stretch when working a lot on your workplace
- Drink more water for this we will be get up to fill bottle and use restroom
- Stand and walk when you receive phone calls
- Try to sort-out your problems by go to desk and communicate with colleague instead of sending mails and massage
- Try to take short breaks and have a small walk around your workstation to avoid excessive sitting
- Be physically active during work by doing some small exercises and save yourself from severe problems
- Try to sit in correct posture always and at least avoid the wrong ones
- Do stretching for some time in between your work at regular interval
- We can maintain muscle tone, ability to move and your mental strength by the help of physical activity. Its clear picture that, less sitting and more moving can contribute to healthy life
Hope it helps you to improve your sitting position if you are doing desk job. Please let me know your comments below.
Images: from Pixabay