Is sitting really so bad? What are the health risks of sitting at a desk all day?
Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that Apple has given standing desks to all its employees in Apple Park, its new US$5 billion headquarters in Cupertino, California. “Sitting is the new cancer,” he said at an earlier interview, so we’ve got to give Cook some credit for putting his money where his mouth is.
The health risks of sitting at a desk all day
It turns out, even if you exercise, spending too much time sitting can lead to a bunch of health problems. Research has found that sitting for long periods of time can be linked to:
- increased blood pressure
- high blood sugar
- excess body fat around the waist
- abnormal cholesterol levels
- cardiovascular disease
Those who sit for more than 8 hours a day with no physical activity have health risks similar to those associated with obesity and smoking.
Some studies have found that 60 to 75 minutes of “moderately intense physical activity” per day can counter the effects of too much sitting. However, some researchers have found that even exercise isn’t enough.
“Sitting too much is not the same as exercising too little,” Dr. Marc Hamilton, a professor at the Inactivity Physiology Laboratory at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, tells Women’s Health.
“Every hour of the day matters to human physiology, and you can’t just look at these few hours you may exercise.”
What can you do to keep moving throughout the day?
- Set a timer to remind you to take a break from sitting every 30 minutes.
- While talking on the phone or even watching television, try standing.
- Try a standing desk.
- Do exercises at your desk. Give these yoga poses a go!
Just moving around leisurely throughout the day can make a significant impact on your health. You’ll burn more calories, and movement helps with mobility and mental wellbeing. So go on and take a minute to walk around the office — you’ll thank yourself later.
We hope this article on the health risks of sitting at a desk all day was helpful!
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