In today’s modern era, many of us live rather sedentary lifestyles. A large percentage of people spend hours sitting while performing the tasks of their office jobs. Chances are, if you sit for hours at a time, you can feel the stiffness in your back, hips, and other areas in your body. Today we would like to discuss the health effects of sitting all day and the actions you can take to counteract them.
Sitting all day could contribute to weaker abdominal muscles because they are not activated while you remain seated. However, when you are standing, you activate your abs because they are tightening. Your hip muscles are also negatively impacted as standing all day could make your hip flexors and your glutes feel stiffer.
When you are sitting for extended periods of time, not only are your muscles burning less fat but your blood flood slows, which make fatty acids clog your heart more easily. When you sit for long periods of time, you make yourself more vulnerable to elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Sitting could even cause your pancreas to overproduce insulin, which could lead to diabetes.
While sitting for extended periods of time, your blood circulation slows, causing fluid to swell in the legs. This could result in swollen ankles, varicose veins, and even deep vein thrombosis, which is a very serious blood clot.
Being sedentary for long periods of time slows down everything in your body, including your brain function. When you are moving the muscles in your body, fresh oxygen and blood are pumped through the brain, which releases chemicals that enhance your mood and your brain.
Sitting for long periods of time compacts the discs between your vertebrae unevenly. In contrast, when you are moving, your soft discs are absorbing new blood and fresh nutrients. If you sit for hours at a time, you may be more vulnerable to herniated lumbar discs. When you are seated, your psoas tightens, which pushes the upper lumbar spine forward. Ideally, you want your upper body weight to be distributed along the arch of the spine. However, when it is pulled forward, the upper body rests completely on the sitting bones, which could result in herniated discs.
How To Counteract The Effects
Many of us cannot avoid sitting at a desk in order to properly execute our jobs. The good news is that you can take steps to reduce the negative impacts on your health. Simply getting up and moving around every hour is one of the best ways to stand up and move around once an hour to give your body a break from sitting. Stretching also helps loosen your muscles.
Exercise always helps to counterbalance the effects of sitting for long periods of time. One of the most fun ways to increase mobility, strength, and flexibility is to take ballroom dance lessons at our studio in Woodbridge. Not only is dancing a great cardiovascular workout, but it’s also a great opportunity to simply have some fun and escape the stresses of your everyday life. If you are interested in participating in adult dance classes, contact the Modern Ballroom Dance Studio today.