DO YOU SIT DOWN ALL DAY?

Here’s some tips you need to stop your body seiz­ing up

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - HEALTH - By MAX LOWERY

Un­for­tu­nately, many of us have jobs where we are re­quired to sit for ex­tended pe­ri­ods of the day. In terms of our health, it’s a ter­ri­ble sit­u­a­tion to find our­selves in.

Al­most all the re­search on the sub­ject sug­gests that sit­ting for long pe­ri­ods of time raises a num­ber of health con­cerns, in­clud­ing obe­sity and metabolic syn­drome — the um­brella term for con­di­tions that in­cludes in­creased blood pres­sure, high blood su­gar, ex­cess body fat around the waist and ab­nor­mal choles­terol lev­els. Too much sit­ting also seems to in­crease the risk of death from car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease and cancer.

No won­der sit­ting has been de­scribed as ‘the new smok­ing’. For our bod­ies, it’s ab­so­lutely ru­inous.

But it’s also an easy habit to de­velop. And I say “habit” here on pur­pose, be­cause while many of us are of­fice work­ers, that doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean to have to spend all day sit­ting down.

Let me give you a lit­tle more de­tail to help you vi­su­alise what I mean. The av­er­age com­mute in Lon­don is 45 min­utes, each way. Most peo­ple sit for this (if pos­si­ble), and then spend an av­er­age of seven to eight hours sit­ting at their desk. Add another an hour or two in front of the telly in the evening, and that’s al­most 12 hours sit­ting down ev­ery day.

Even an hour’s ex­er­cise, three to four times per week does not can­cel out this much in­ac­tiv­ity.

The good news is that there are easy ‘fixes’ to rec­tify things. Stud­ies sug­gest that get­ting up and mov­ing reg­u­larly through­out the day can coun­ter­act the neg­a­tive ef­fects of sit­ting all day — so you can be an of­fice worker and still give your body the move­ment it needs to stay healthy.

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Sit­ting for long pe­ri­ods of time raises a num­ber of health con­cerns, in­clud­ing obe­sity and metabolic syn­drome.

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