Sit at Your Peril: What are the Hidden Risks and How to Alleviate Them!
by Kenny Rhoads
There has been a lot of news lately about the risks for individuals sitting for prolonged periods of time while working at a desk or sitting in front of the television. A recent interview with Mayo Clinic’s Dr. James Levine sheds light on just how risky it is to be sitting behind for hours on end. While using a sit stand adjustable desk is one way to ameliorate some of the dangers, there are other strategies that can also help. But first, let’s look at just how dangerous it is to sit for even just 4 to 8 hours a day and why it’s so important to change your habits and quickly.
What Researchers Have Found
Sitting for over 4 hours a day at a conventional desk increases a person’s risk for both colorectal and breast cancer. This has been well documented by a number of studies both in the U.S., Britain and Australia, among other countries. What’s more, researchers have discovered that if sitting for long periods, an individual also increases their risk of obesity and metabolic degradation. This can translate to such dangerous conditions as hypertension, high blood sugar, extra body fat around the waistline, while increasing cholesterol levels in the process.
What does this mean? The above health conditions generated from extended sitting if you are not using an adjustable height standing desk or plopped in front of the TV increases your risk of death from not just certain kinds of cancer but also cardiovascular disease. It was found that people who sat at either a television or sit-down desk for just 4 hours (as opposed to sitting 2 hours or less) experienced a shocking 50% greater risk of death than those who did not. Plus, there was a 125% greater risk of cardiovascular events such as angina or heart attack.
These risk factors were not substantially offset by vigorous exercise if an individual still sat for prolonged periods. What’s more, the above risk percentages were separate from any other risk factors such as smoking or genetic or diet-associated high blood pressure.
So What’s The Solution
There are several ways to reduce risk factors against cancer and cardiovascular disease for individuals who rely on office desks in their daily life. One of the primary tools that can accomplish this is the office desk itself. The adjustable height sit to standing desk for office workers and adjustable height sit stand table for artists, draftsmen and engineers make for the smartest way to alleviate health dangers connected to prolonged sitting. They allow a person to either sit to accomplish certain tasks yet also be able to adjust the desk to a standing position for longer use.
Many individuals choose to just stand all day. Besides the above disease risks that can lead to premature death, sitting all day stalls the metabolic process by shutting down enzymes that burn fats and sugars. In contrast, standing activates them while also increasing blood flow to the brain. Standing additionally reduces muscle tension in the spine, neck and shoulders.
Mix It Up
Even beyond using a standing desk it is important to keep your body moving as much as possible. Implement a 5-minutes-per-hour stretch period or just walk around the office for a few minutes each hour. We also suggest standing while eating lunch or talking on the phone. You’ll be amazed at how refreshed you mind and body will feel while also gaining satisfaction from knowing you are taking better care of yourself.