Sitting all day can have negative effects on physical health. A growing body of research suggests the healthy option is to take “activity snacks” such as a 5-minute light walk.
Sitting for long periods of time can impede blood flow and circulation, which can lead to a range of health issues. These can range from critical illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, blood clots and high cholesterol to mild conditions such as swollen ankles and varicose veins.
But for most people, sitting all day causes aches and pains — regardless of whether you are active outside of work or not. I do yoga three times a week but still feel the aches and pains of sedentary work in my back, neck and shoulders.
Back pain is a frustrating outcrop of sitting all day. Putting pressure on the spine for long periods contributes to back pain. This is especially true if you’re sitting in a poorly designed chair or have poor posture which causes you to hunch over a computer.
Poor posture is subsequently exacerbated by sitting all day. This can lead to a range of musculoskeletal issues, including neck and shoulder pain, headaches and chronic back pain.
Sitting for extended periods can also weaken the muscles, especially those in the legs and core. This can lead to reduced mobility and increased risk of falls and other injuries later in life when the bones become more brittle.
Take A 5-Minute Light Walk
It’s important to break up prolonged periods of sitting with regular movement. Engaging in regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help offset the negative effects of prolonged sitting and promote overall health and well-being.
And that includes whilst you’re at work.
“Activity snacking” is becoming the new buzzword. Taking a 3-5 minute light walk every 30 minutes is showing positive signs of lowering aches and pains associated with sitting all day.
Taking a five-minute “light walk” can help offset the negative effects of sitting by increasing blood flow and circulation. It may also improve sitting posture because you are less likely to remain slumped over your desk for long periods. Retaining good posture is often a memory game.
Mobility also reduces stiffness and soreness in the body. This can be especially beneficial for people who work desk jobs or spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer.
A light walk doesn’t have to be strenuous or time-consuming. It can simply involve walking around the office, taking a stroll outside, or doing some light stretches to get the blood flowing. Even just a few minutes of movement can help improve physical and mental well-being.
It’s important to note that a light walk is not a substitute for regular exercise or a healthy lifestyle. While taking a short walk can help offset the negative effects of sitting, it’s still important to engage in regular physical activity, eat a healthy diet, and get enough sleep to maintain good health.
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