How to Reduce the Negative Impact of Sitting

There is more and more evidence that sitting for extended periods of time is extremely harmful for our bodies. The most obvious damages come from simply not moving much, which causes the metabolism to slow down, thereby leading to weight gain.

By not moving one also loses muscle mass and gets out of shape. Highly sedentary people tend to become overweight, which in itself makes exercising and moving harder. It is a vicious cycle, and recent studies show that too much sitting is also harmful for the heart and linked to cancer, diabetes, and dementia. However, there are ways to reduce the negative effects of sitting by taking some simple steps.

How to be Less Sedentary at Work

Exercising during one’s free time is a good way to avoid becoming unfit and overweight, but it does not remedy the other problems caused by sitting too much. What seems to be the main issue with sitting is not the overall time spent sitting, but continuous sitting.

The maximum time one should sit is twenty minutes at a time. There are plenty of apps that are made to remind one to get up at regular intervals. The break time can be used to move around a bit, to stretch, or simply to do something useful like getting a cup of tea. Workplace ergonomics is also extremely important, and there are plenty of recent innovations that help to make one’s office better.

Standing desks are a great way to avoid sitting too much, but one should know that too much standing is not good either. The best is to alternate between sitting and standing, so the ideal office has both a sitting and a standing desk. If you have meetings with just one or two people, a walking meeting is a great way to avoid sitting and also to get some fresh air.