Study Says That Companies Must Take Stand Against Prolonged Sitting
Hard to believe it, but sitting for a prolonged period of time is detrimental to your health. For professionals with office jobs, this poses a dilemma. There are sometimes where you have to sit it out! Important new client meetings or board meetings are a few of the many office obligations that are more professional when everyone is sitting. As more studies come out about the health risks associated with prolonged sitting, companies are standing with employees and encouraging them to get up and move around during the day.
If sitting is the new smoking, it is a habit that needs to change. Keep reading to see what you can do to decrease the time you spend sitting during the day.
What does science say about prolonged sitting?
The American Heart Association published a study in 2017 Sedentary Behavior and Subclinical Cardiac Injury that set out to see if society should concern itself with sitting. Researchers found that a sedentary lifestyle is linked to the buildup of the troponins, a group of proteins found in skeletal and heart (cardiac) muscle fibers that regulate muscular contraction. Too many troponins limit blood flow to the heart, putting you at risk for a heart attack. The Mayo Clinic also reports that sitting for too long puts you at a higher risk for obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol levels.
Ways to break the habit of prolonged sitting
Before you head into the office, think about the different means of transportation that can get you there that will get your heartbeat going. Walk or ride your bike to work, and opt for the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator. Breaking up the day with movements is an excellent start to breaking the bad habit of sitting for too long. Every 30 minutes or so, grab a glass of water and take a lap around the office. If you aren’t able to take a break as often as you’d like, stand while working. All of these movements add up at the end of the day and lead to a more active lifestyle.
What’s the right way to sit?
If stepping away from the desk isn’t as easy as it sounds, the least you can do is sit properly. Keep your shoulders relaxed and arms close to your sides. Be sure to keep your feet flat on the floor, and try not to lean forward at your desk. Bending your elbows at 90 degrees will also maintain a proper posture. If you need lower back support, consider wearing a strap, or use a pillow to support your low back in your chair. As companies recognize that to keep their employees healthy, they need to give them more freedom to move around the office. Products like standing desks, treadmill desks, and anti-fatigue mats are available solutions to purchase so that you can get your work done and stay healthy at the same time.
Another way large corporations are working to provide a healthier work environment is by offering fitness classes throughout the day. Entrepreneur Magazine reports that Google has on-site fitness centers and over 200 exercise classes for their employees. A mid-day yoga session is healthy for both the body and mind! Other companies motivate their employees to get moving by partnering up with gyms and other fitness programs, giving their employees discounted rates.
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