You get up from your bed, eat breakfast at a table, drive to work, sit at your work desk for several hours, get back in your car, park yourself on the couch for the evening, and finally return to your bed to sleep. Does this sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. Most people spend the majority of their days sitting. In fact, those who work in an office spend up to 15 hours a day sitting! This is a problem, as our bodies are not made to sit all day. Need some motivation to reduce your time spent sitting? Here are seven health benefits of getting out of your chair.
- 1. You’ll lower your risk of weight gain and obesity
- 2. You’ll lower your risk of heart disease
- 3. Your mood will improve
- 4. You’ll improve your productivity and energy levels
- 5. You may lower your blood sugar levels
- 6. You may increase your life span
- 7. You’ll reduce your aches and pains
- Reducing the negative effects of sitting
- The bottom line
1. You’ll lower your risk of weight gain and obesity
The recipe for weight gain is ultimately caused by taking in more calories than you burn. As you may have guessed, you burn far fewer calories when sitting than when you’re standing or moving around. One study showed that when compared to an afternoon of sedentary work, an equal amount of time spent standing burned over 170 additional calories.
On top of that, research shows that fat-burning is slowed by prolonged sitting. By getting out of your chair and moving your body more frequently, you’ll be zapping more calories, revving your metabolism, and decreasing your risk of weight gain and obesity.
2. You’ll lower your risk of heart disease
One interesting study compared bus drivers, who sat most of the day, with bus conductors, who stood most of the day. Researchers found that the conductors had half the risk of heart disease-related deaths as the drivers, despite having very similar diets and lifestyles. Why could this be? When you sit for long periods of time, your blood flow slows down, which allows fatty acids to build up in the blood vessels. This can increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. In fact, research has shown that prolonged sedentary time increases the risk of heart disease by up to 147 percent!
To reduce your risk of heart issues, aim to replace at least two hours of sitting per day with movement breaks.
3. Your mood will improve
Have you been feeling a bit down lately? Excessive sitting could be to blame. One study showed that the more you sit at work, the greater your risk of developing depression and anxiety. Conversely, another study showed that the more people move throughout their days, the happier they are. Taking breaks to get up and out of your chair throughout the day could make a significant difference to your mental health.
4. You’ll improve your productivity and energy levels
You know that afternoon slump that seems to creep in around 3 p.m.? Getting up and out of your chair more often may help improve your energy levels throughout the day. Many people claim that working at a standing desk provides them with more long-lasting energy than when sitting.
As a bonus, your productivity is likely to increase thanks to the extra energy you experience. This is backed by a seven-week study that found that participants using standing desks reported less fatigue than those who remained seated the entire workday.
5. You may lower your blood sugar levels
While it’s not completely clear why, studies suggest that sitting increases your risk of diabetes by an astounding 112 percent. Doctors theorize that sitting may change the way your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that helps it burn sugar and carbs for energy.
6. You may increase your life span
Studies have found a clear link between increased sitting time and early death. This isn’t too surprising considering the fact that sitting has been shown to increase your risk of some of the world’s deadliest diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. A review of 18 studies found that those who sit the most are at a 49 percent greater risk of dying early than those who sit the least.
To increase your chances of living a long, healthy life, take frequent stretching and walking breaks during your day.
7. You’ll reduce your aches and pains
Your body is built for movement. Sitting all day can cause your body, especially your legs, glutes, lower back, shoulders, and neck, to become stiff, sore, and achy. To combat this, make an effort to take a break and move every 30 minutes to an hour.
You may also want to consider adding an anti-inflammatory supplement such as JointFuel360. This oral supplement combines research-backed ingredients including turmeric root, Boswellia serrata extract, resveratrol, collagen (type II), black pepper extract, and hyaluronic acid. These ingredients work together synergistically to improve joint comfort, mobility, and flexibility, so you can live a healthier, happier life.
Reducing the negative effects of sitting
Reducing your time spent sitting and doing what you can to mitigate the negative effects of sitting can help improve both your physical and mental health. Here are our top tips for doing just that:
- Engage in 30 minutes to one hour of exercise each day.
- Engage in shorter spurts of activity throughout the day. For example, you could take a brisk walk during a work break, spend five minutes doing some stretching in between conference calls, or even take a couple of laps around your office.
- Consider buying a standing desk and splitting your time 50-50 between standing and sitting.
- Watch your posture. Some of the negative effects of sitting have to do with slouching or sitting with a bent back. Make sure you’re sitting up straight. Some people like to use a balance ball as a chair to encourage themselves to have good posture.
- Consume a healthy diet focused on whole, plant-based foods. This will help reduce inflammation and your risk of many of the diseases mentioned in this article.
- Consider supplementing your diet with an anti-inflammatory supplement such as JointFuel360 to support your body and lessen uncomfortable symptoms like joint stiffness, soreness, and pain.
The bottom line
They don’t call sitting the new smoking for nothing! Studies consistently show that sitting has a negative effect on our health. It’s time to take a stand and move towards a more active, healthier lifestyle…by getting out of your chair! Who’s ready to join us?