Sitting is bad for you. Studies show the average office worker sits for 9 hours per day, and compared to more ambulatory or standing jobs, this leads to higher anxiety and depression, less productivity and lower cognitive performance.

Reducing sitting time in these office workers by 1 hour, reduces anxiety by 15%, reduces depression by 10%, reduces neck and eye strain and reduces stress and fatigue in general.

Sitting is associated with weight gain, high blood pressure, high sugar and cholesterol levels, cancer, varicose veins, clots, diabetes and heart disease.

A NSW study called 45 and Up, confirmed that sitting increases cardiovascular risk and death, and that exercise will mitigate this risk. In this significant study over many years, researchers found physically inactive folks that have sitting jobs carry a more than 100% higher risk of cardiovascular death. Exercising moderately for 150 minutes per week, or vigorously for 75 minutes per week, will effectively take away this added risk.

If you have a sitting job, or are inclined towards sedentary behaviour, consider the following fixes:

  • Take a short break every hour, get up from your chair and walk around the office or outdoors
  • Use your lunchtime to join team sports or hit the gym
  • Brisk walk to work, take the stairs rather than the lift, take the scenic route home
  • Ride a bike to work
  • Conduct standing huddles or walking meetings

Current pandemic lockdowns and work from home situations creates the double whammy of potentially more sitting and a decline in mental health. To combat this, head outdoors and get active!

References:

  • https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/excessive-occupational-sitting-and-mental-health-young-people
  • https://www.saxinstitute.org.au/news/can-physical-activity-offset-health-risks-much-sitting/
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005
  • https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/the-dangers-of-sitting