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Dangers of Sitting All Day and How to Combat them

Dangers Of Sitting All Day

Sitting at your desk might seem like the least dangerous thing you can do in a workplace. Compared with operating a forklift, working the high steel on a construction site or working deep underground in a coal mine, sitting at a desk all day doesn’t seem all that risky. However, just because health hazards associated with a desk job are not obvious doesn’t mean they don’t exist. In fact, research has shown that sitting for prolonged periods every day can have serious effects on your health.

Here are some of the biggest dangers of sitting all day — threats to your long-term health or that of your employees:

• Poor circulation. When you’re sitting for extended periods, your circulation slows down, especially in your legs. Fluids can pool in your ankles, creating health issues ranging from swollen ankles to varicose veins to potentially fatal blood clots.

• Back injury. Sitting causes a muscle in your abdomen to constrict, which pulls the upper lumbar portion of your spine forward. Because your upper-body weight is not evenly distributed along the arch of your spine when this happens, you can suffer a herniated disk in your lower back. Sitting too long also causes the disks between your vertebrae to stiffen because they don’t expand and contract the same way as when you move.

• Shoulder and neck pain. Slouching or craning your neck forward to read your computer screen or see your work while sitting misaligns the vertebrae in your neck, which can strain your shoulders and neck muscles.

• Heart disease. When you sit still for a long time, your muscles don’t burn as much fat, and your blood circulation slows down, which leads to increased cholesterol levels and higher blood pressure. Over time, all of that excess strain can lead to heart disease.

• Weak muscles. If you sit for too long, you’re not getting enough exercise. That can lead to excessively weak muscles in your abdomen, hips and back, which can make it more difficult to get around as you get older.

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