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Despite the growing trend of ergonomic products and workplace accommodations like flexible gym hours, researchers believe that office workers sitting at their desks all day have already done lasting damage to their bodies.

Ph.D. Peter T. Katzmarzyk says, “Even with physically active individuals, there was a strong association between sitting and risk of mortality… This is an important observation because it suggests that high amounts of sitting cannot be compensated for with occasional leisure-time physical activity even if the amount exceeds the current minimum physical activity recommendations.”

Here are 14 adverse effects that can occur from sitting at your desk for too long:

  1. Low energy expenditure
  2. Slower metabolism – decreased muscle contractions occur as sitting slows the clearance of fat from the bloodstream and decreases the effect of insulin.
  3. Compromise posture – sitting causes the pelvis to rotate backward and puts pressure on the lumbar discs. The head is forced forward and shoulders curve to compensate for weight transfer.
  4. Back and spine injuries – prolonged sitting puts pressure on the low back and stress the surrounding muscles and joints.
  5. Reduced social skills – interaction limited to the Internet can cause a decline in social involvement.
  6. Loneliness or depression – when a computer is used a the sole source of communication, the size of a person’s social circle can decline, and loneliness and feelings of depression can increase. Lack of sunshine can also cause a person to become deficient in vitamin D.
  7. Metabolic syndrome
  8. Chronic pain – low backpressure increases and this can lead to symptoms of chronic diseases.
  9. Rheumatic disorders – excessive amounts of sitting can add to the “wear and tear” to the joints and results in rheumatic diseases like osteoarthritis.
  10. Obesity – energy expenditure is decreased and can lead to weight gain.
  11. Diabetes – Sitting at a desk all day impairs the body’s ability to handle blood sugar, reducing sensitivity to the hormone insulin which helps carry glucose from the blood into cells to be used for energy.
  12. Cancer – Low physical activity occupations have an increased incidence of cancer.
  13. The risk of heart disease is increased by up to 64%
  14. All-cause mortality is adversely affected by too much sitting, independent of physical activity

Worried? Here are a few tips to get moving and sit less:

  • move around in your seat periodically
  • stand while eating or talking on the phone
  • use a stand-up desk
  • have organized breaks throughout the day
  • walk laps with your colleagues
  • position your work surface above a treadmill so you can be in motion all-day

Source: Business Insider at http://www.businessinsider.com/14-horrible-things-that-can-happen-if-you-sit-at-your-desk-for-too-long-2014-3

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