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Sitting too long at work can be dangerous

How long do you sit in a chair in a day? Do you take regular breaks in between to walk around and stretch your body? Are you physically stagnant? Do you have stiff neck and shoulders? Do your wrists hurt? Do your legs pain? And are you fighting an increasing waistline and bulging stomach?

Our lifestyle has changed so much in the past few years with more and more of us tied to our desks for long hours at a stretch. Some of us even eat lunch at the desk hardly moving from the chair. The wheels don’t help too much either… I have actually seen people just swivel here and there when ideally they should have just got up and walked to get what they wanted. Technology has definitely made life easy but it has placed us with health risks like never before when not used consciously. People have grown sedentary and the health effects do not look good at all.

Extensive research and studies indicate that sitting for too long over a period of time can actually kill you. It may sound harsh but on average adults spend two thirds or even more of their waking hours each day either sitting or reclining. Studies also state that excessive sitting and reclining can put you at increased risk of heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and early death even if you get some amount of exercise regularly.  Today, the health fraternity is sitting up and taking note of this data.

When your body spends huge number of hours inactive or in a similar position, the body’s systems begin to falter and decline. Your heart, lungs, muscles, tissues, blood circulation become sluggish and get compromised. Unfortunately even daily workouts do not erase this health concern.

In addition to regular and scheduled workouts, it is important that you take breaks and walk around every half hour. Do some light stretches. Every chance you get, move whether it is to get yourself a glass of water, talk to a colleague rather than send them a mail, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk short distances instead of driving, etc. This is called focusing on non exercise activities and can create huge health benefits.

In addition please try and incorporate the following into your lifestyle – eat health foods – include lots of fruits and vegetables, stay well hydrated – water is the best drink on earth, get 30-45 minutes of exercise 4-5 days a week at least,  get sound sleep, do not multi task – it does not help you function better even though you may feel you are accomplishing a lot – focus instead,   laugh a lot, read and get outdoors often, do one thing you love every single day, breathe!


Sandesh Palungwa Limbu is a certified professional fitness instructor, founder of RAGE Fitness, and also specialises in mixed martial arts. For answers to your fitness queries, write to him at ragefitness@live.com