Consequences of a sedentary lifestyle
According to many publications, sedentary lifestyle is one of the most important public health problems. Too little physical activity characterizes up to 60-70% of adults and 30-50% of children. The belief in the beneficial influence of exercise on the body is not a new concept, but nowadays, when problems with the spine are becoming one of the diseases of civilization, it is worth reminding about it. Below you will find the conditions that a sedentary lifestyle or work can lead to. It is worth noting that people who work this way are not doomed to them in advance. They can be avoided by implementing several principles, including stretching and mobilizing muscles during short breaks at work, regular physical exercise in the form of walking or cycling, and a conscious approach to nutrition.
Hypertension is one of the most common causes of cardiovascular diseases, which are classified as diseases of civilization. Untreated hypertension can lead to the development of ischemic disease, and eventually to myocardial infarction or chronic heart failure. Sedentary lifestyle is not a cause in itself, but it is one of the factors that increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Diabetes type II
Many hours spent in front of a computer, lack of exercise, irregular meals and processed food are, in the long run, a simple way to disrupt hormonal balance and develop Type II diabetes. Insulin resistance and related impaired insulin secretion are the main causes of the disease. The decisive factors here are both genetic and environmental - we have a real influence on the latter. Unfortunately, frequent consumption of highly processed foods containing large amounts of simple sugars contribute to problems with blood sugar regulation. As a consequence, it can lead to type II diabetes.
Discopathy and degeneration of the spine
Many hours spent sitting and lack of sufficient exercise are two of the most important causes of degenerative changes in the spine. When working in a sitting position, it is easy for the muscles to become tense, especially in the neck, hips, and lower back area. When the muscles are contracted and weakened, the structures responsible for stabilizing the body and taking on heavy loads are inefficient. An example is the relationship between the core muscles and the lumbar region. Strong and active deep muscles in the abdominal region take a significant part of the load from the lumbar spine preventing them from overloading. If these structures are weakened and inactive - our lumbar muscles carry loads of several hundred tons! To better illustrate the situation, let's imagine that while standing our spine is affected by a force of about 100kg, while sitting it is even 150kg. The most common problems encountered among office workers are problems in the cervical and lumbar regions. Apart from that, a huge problem is discopathy, i.e. degeneration of the intervertebral disc, commonly called a disk.
Varicose veins and heavy legs
The consequence of constant sitting may be swelling of lower limbs and the resulting feeling of heavy legs, as well as spider veins and varicose veins. All these symptoms are associated with impaired blood circulation in the lower limbs. Prolonged sitting promotes muscle weakness and disengagement, which makes blood circulate more slowly. In addition, the pressure in the veins of the lower limbs increases and presses on the venous vessels with great force. When lying down, such pressure is 12-18mmHg, while when sitting, it increases to 56mmHg. In a sitting position, many people tend to put their leg over the leg, which in turn compresses the veins and impedes proper blood flow and increases the risk of varicose and spider veins.
How to stay healthy while having a sedentary job?
Healthy eating and physical activity are key in the prevention of many diseases. Such nutrition is often associated with eating sprouts, non-salty foods and seaweed. Nothing could be further from the truth, as you can follow a diet that is both tasty and varied. Rather, the diet should consist of reducing salt, calories, saturated fatty acids, and increasing the intake of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. This type of diet helps to lower blood pressure and keep it at an optimal level. If you spend several hours at work, it is worth taking care of properly balanced meals, rich in nutrients. You should avoid sweet snacks in the form of doughnuts, chocolate bars or yeast cakes. It is also worth resigning from sweet sodas or juices full of sugar. A good solution will be water, you can also add to it slices of lemon or orange.
To avoid problems with back pain, it is important to take care of your body through regular stretching, mobilization and strengthening. For every hour you spend at your desk, take a 5-minute break to change position. Stand up, take a few steps, do a few bends, and stretch your tense muscles. It is also recommended to take one longer break during work to stretch and mobilize, so that the body does not adapt to the sitting position.