If you’re working in an office where your job demands sitting for 8 hours a day, the most used office accessory is chair. Office Chairs have taken huge significance than previous decades. Sitting is the new smoking and ergonomics is not helping much! You may be surprised how your office chair can cause a vast impact on your life expectancy! What does science say about this? What are its bad effects? Let’s find out:
1. What researchers say:
A recent study report by The Archives of Internal Machine tracked that people who sit more than 11 hours a day have 40% higher risk of dying within three years. This study was conducted on more than 200,000 Australian with age 45 or more, regardless of BMI or sex. According to Dr. James Levine, a professor of medicine at the US-based Mayo Clinic, did a study on NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) to conclude that “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death”. There are numerous studies who proved that sitting can kill!
2. Why sitting is bad?
There are lots of negative effects on people like us who are over-sitters, or those who sit more than 6 hours a day. Obesity is the most obvious harmful effect of this. But do you know that people with sitting jobs have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease than with the standing jobs? A study done by The Journal of Clinical Oncology stated that the more time you spend sitting, higher risk of colorectal cancer! And an analysis of self-reported survey found that who sat less had a lower risk of having chronic kidney disease, especially women. And after two of hours continuous sitting “good” cholesterol drops by 20%.
3. Exercise doesn’t help?
The recent researches have clearly mentioned that exercise is not the safety net for us. The death rate chance due to sitting remains same both for the ones who do regular exercise and those who don’t! It does not help you to balance. Human bodies were not meant to sit for longer periods. A hundred years ago, obesity was non-existent as we were toiling farms and not simply working at desks. But today we’re surrounded by computers and TVs, which are enough to make us obese. Exercise surely helps, but you have to sweat heavily at least one hour daily to counteract the effects of sitting for 6 hours a day.
4. What about ergonomics?
Ergonomics can play a vital role in reducing the negative effects of sitting. But every chair labeled as “ergonomic” is not the solution. You can’t ignore the fact that every ergonomic chair is not suitable for everyone. The user’s body dimension must be kept in mind while selecting a chair. The optimal seat height should be one-quarter of the body height. It isn’t about where you sit, it’s also about how you sit. 135-degree angle is the best posture to sit on a chair, that puts less strain on your back.
5. What can we do?
Reduce the sitting time. The jobs that require 6-7 hours of sitting a day should consider switching to standing desks. Of course, you don’t need to stand for 6 hours! But keeping such desks in the office allows employees to move around and work without affecting the work productivity. Take a break from your chair every 30 minutes, and walk. If not possible, stretch yourself a little bit or do fidgeting. This may sound odd, but circling your desk, pacing while calling, jiggling your legs, helps you in the long run.
So get up and stand up to standing!