Why Sitting at Your Desk Could Significantly Harm Your Health

Sep 02, 2016

Standing Desk Health Benefits

If you spend the majority of your day sitting, whether it is at your desk, in your car, or on the couch, you should reconsider your lifestyle because the effects are detrimental to your health. We don't create standing desks just to make your office look cool, we do it to improve your health and improve your productivity. Here is why...

Immediately after sitting down, the electrical activity in your muscles begins to slow. After time, your calorie burning activity will eventually slow to 1 calorie per minute, about 1/3 of what it is when your moving about. Even if you workout every day it isn't enough to counteract the negative effects a primarily sedentary lifestyle will have on your body. According to CNN the negative effects of sitting include a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and a much greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The Washington Post cites several reasons why we should pay more attention to how often we're sitting. An increase in organ damage, muscle degeneration, back problems and reduced cognitive function can all be attributed to sitting more than one should. When sitting for a long period of time blood begins to move more slowly and our muscles burn less fat. Sitting is also correlated with high blood pressure and increased cholesterol. Your pancreas also begins to suffer due to too much sitting. Cells that are in stagnant muscles don't process insulin as easily causing the pancreas to produce more insulin than it otherwise would, increasing the likelihood of diabetes and other diseases.

As one might imagine would be the case, your muscles begin to deteriorate when you sit for a prolonged period of time. Your abs, hip flexors and glutes will all begin to suffer because they're stuck in an unnatural position, leading to "short and tight" instead of "long and lean" muscles, as well as poor posture.

Your legs will struggle to keep blood flowing through them, which can lead to varicose veins and swollen ankles, or worse yet deep vein thrombosis or blood clots. Your muscle density could also be affected due to lack of activity. Oftentimes when we're sitting at our desks we lean forward straining our necks to see our computer screens or crane our necks to hold the phone between our shoulders and our ears, creating imbalances. The neck isn't the only thing that suffers from these practices; the shoulders also slouch, overextending the muscles that support them.

If you're ready to make a change, don't be afraid to start small. Make one small change such as going for a walk during lunch or getting up to fill your water bottle twice before lunch and twice afterwards, and you'll be on your way to decreasing the harmful effects sitting all day has on your health.