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Is Your 9-5 Doing You Harm?

The American dream is driven by working hard and long hours. Depending on the location you live it may also require commuting for extended periods of times.

This kind of life is known to be associated with sitting for long periods of time. Sitting for extended durations can be associated with cardiovascular diseases and musculoskeletal issues.

Sedentary Lifestyle - A life that consists of sitting and/or little physical activity is considered a sedentary lifestyle. There are many after effects that can be influenced from this kind of life. The biggest downfalls to sedentary living are cardiovascular diseases and musculoskeletal conditions. In fact, a sedentary lifestyle is known and considered the “new smoking”.

Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) - Little movement with the body means that our heart doesn’t get the good stress it needs. Without the body moving the heart is not used to physical demands. Heart diseases such as heart attacks and strokes are some of the main concerns with CVD. Not only does lifestyle increase its risk of these diseases but so do genetics, smoking, and dietary choices.

Obesity - Obesity is a condition with an increase of adipose tissue (fat) and has a body mass index of greater than 30. Obesity has a direct correlation with increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. It is likely that one will increase their body mass in size if the individual is not cautious with food choices and lacks physical activity regime.

Poor Circulation of Blood - Poor circulation to the extremities (legs and arms) can be problematic especially in conditions like diabetes mellitus. This is a condition in which edema or swelling occurs and this tissue can die off if in severe conditions.

Musculoskeletal Issues & Imbalances - When sitting for extended periods of time there are a few things that occur within our body.

One of those things are musculoskeletal imbalances. This means that certain muscles will stay in their contracted state, such as the hip flexors, and physically shorten. This can cause a tilt in the pelvic girdle. Having an anterior pelvic tilt can cause low back pain. It will also have other muscles shift into a chronic lengthen or shortened state causing pain, mobility changes, and shifts in gaits for waking and running or posture.

Another problem with sitting for long periods of time (chronically) means that muscles can atrophy. Atrophy is the state of which the muscle decreases in size. Muscle mass is also known as lean muscle mass and this mass is beneficial for lipolysis (fat breakdown). The more muscle mass one has the higher their resting metabolic state is.

So What Do You Do?

The best way to overcome these challenges and potential risks with your office 9-5 job is to move! Never let your body stay in a position for too long. In fact for every 20 minutes of sitting on should stretch or move around in order to combat muscle shortening in the hip flexors.

If you were to break up your day with physical activity you would:

feel less tired,

your muscles wouldn’t be so tight,

mood will be elevated

Increase in productivity

Closer to accomplishing fitness goals

All it takes is to move for one minute every hour, stand up every 20 mins and stretch, walk to someone’s office instead of sending an email, there are a million and one simple ways to incorporate some kind of movement in your daily life.

In Health & Fitness,

Dani Jones

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