- Sitting for long hours without a break can be harmful
- Sedentary lifestye is also linked to an increased risk of certain cancers
- If you work at a desk job you can try a standing desk
Did you know a sedentary lifestyle could lead to health risks? A new study reveals, sitting for long hours every day can be harmful for your body. While the evidence on the negative effects of prolonged sedentary time continues to increase, further studies are needed to determine the most effective and practical interventions for reducing habitual sitting. Nurses and other health care professionals are now making an attempt to educate patients about the health risks associated with prolonged hours on desk and making suggestions to reduce and interrupt sitting times.
The study author and Dr Linda Eanes said "Nurses have a pivotal role to play in increasing public awareness about the potential adverse effects of high-volume and prolonged uninterrupted sitting."
Increased health risks like obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer and early death have been reported for sitting continuously. Hence, you should avoid prolonged uninterrupted sitting, such as sitting for 30 minutes or longer without a break.
Sitting for too long at a stretch can slow down the metabolism which in turn affects the body's ability to regulate blood pressure, blood sugar levels and break down the body fat.
The study shows that high-volume and prolonged uninterrupted sitting can lead to health risks like cardiovascular diseases and, diabetes. In conjunction with obesity, sedentary time is also linked to an increased risk of certain cancers, including ovarian, endometrial, and colon cancer.
Immobility reduces stimulation of weight-bearing muscles, leading to decreased activity of an enzyme (lipoprotein lipase) that plays an important role in lipid metabolism, including the production of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (the so-called good cholesterol) as well as uptake of glucose from the blood. In contrast, breaking up sedentary times with frequent standing or slow walking may reduce these metabolic risks, although the optimal levels of standing or walking remain unclear.
In order to avoid long hours at desk you can use a standing desk or take frequent walking or standing breaks. The use of a computer or smartphone reminders to take some physical activity breaks during the day can be beneficial.
It is extremely important to promote regular physical activity. Nurses should also pay more attention in evaluating total sitting time, and to understand the individual, social, occupational, and community/environmental factors that contribute to it.
Dr Eanes added "Nurses can also actively encourage all patients, regardless of demographics, to balance sedentary behaviour and physical activity simply by frequent standing or walking breaks."
Here are some tips to reduce the sitting time:
- You should take a break from sitting after every 30 minutes
- You can stand or walk while talking on the phone or watching television
- If you work at a desk job, try a standing desk or improvise with a high table or counter
- Walk with your colleagues for meetings or conversation instead of sitting in a conference room or the cafeteria
- You should walk to your colleagues desk instead of mailing or calling him
- Avoid using the lift; instead use the staircase
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.