We don’t need another batch of research to tell us how being slumped at a desk all day is damaging our health. There are a multitude of studies out there already to show the negative effects: scientists claim sedentary lifestyles are more fatal than smoking and sitting down all the time causes more deaths than obesity.
But we also don’t need a study to tell us that being on our back side day after day will have negative repercussions on our health because we can feel it in our bones, our muscles, our mind. We know it when we get that feeling after a brisk walk, or the way we feel after plunging into the sea: we’re supposed to be interacting with our natural environments this way.
Yes, we need to stand up and move more. No, it’s not always easy. But here are just a few reasons you should switch up your sitting routine, and exactly how you should do it:
Slows down your metabolism. From travelling to work on the train to watching TV on the sofa at night, when we’re seated, we slow down our body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and break down fats. Meaning it’s more likely you’ll put on weight and increase your blood pressure.
Linked to early death. Excessive sitting has been scientifically linked to type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and premature death. If you’re overweight or obese, sitting down too often probably has a lot to do with it.
Functional health suffers. The Start Active, Stay Active report details the importance of physical activity for maintaining our ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Those who sat down less in studies show a 30% reduced risk of falls and role limitations.
Lowers psychological well-being. Moving more can reduce the risk of depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s. By sitting less and upping your physical activity, you can boost your mood, self-esteem and sleep quality, while lowering your anxiety levels.