A sedentary lifestyle carries several health risks
There are numerous health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Not surprising, considering humans are meant to be physically active, with most health organizations recommending at least 30 minutes exercise per day. A sedentary lifestyle is not necessarily a result of laziness, but rather of career demands. Plenty of jobs requires one to be stationed at a desk or spend most of the day driving a vehicle, for example. A lifestyle whereby you find yourself seated most of the day has been linked to cardiovascular complications, increased risk of cancer, muscle degeneration, slower metabolic rate and subsequent weight gain.
Taking breaks, stretching and massage
Stand up and walk around for 5-10 minutes for every 30 minutes that you are seated. Under desk peddler machines, standing desks or treadmill desks are becoming more common in Western offices as they are a great way of fitting in some light activity whilst working.
Besides that, it is recommended that you fit in 10 minutes of stretching or yoga in the morning or before you go to bed. Liza Lim, a health consultant for poker players, says massage should not be overlooked as a means of counteracting the strain that a sedentary lifestyle puts on the body. “Massage is a great way to bring down stress levels and move the circulation in the body”, she says. Her clients who are sometimes seated at a card table for 12 hours are in need of regular massages to combat the physiological pains which can ensue.
Invest in ergonomic options
Whether you spend all day in a car seat or at an office desk, make sure that the furniture you are using properly supports your back to avoid aches and pains. The best kind of office chair will be optimized for the good upper back, lower back, arm, thigh and calf support. It is also advised to invest in an adjustable desk so that you can rest your arms at a comfortable level on it. It is also important to consider your posture, namely the position in which you are sitting down. Slouching can have long-term effects on your spine and should be avoided.
Eat the rights foods for a sedentary lifestyle
Those with sedentary lifestyle naturally burn fewer calories. Eating foods that are lower in calorie content might, therefore, help ward off unwanted weight gain. Foods that promote blood circulation are also important for those who remain seated over long periods of time, so eat plenty of oranges, watermelon, salmon, avocado and dark chocolate. Daily calorie consumptions for inactive people are recommended at 2,400kcal for men and 1,800kcal for women.
Drink lots of water
Drinking plenty of water is, of course, good advice for anyone – no matter their activity level or lifestyle. The health benefits of drinking the commonly recommended two liters of water per day are numerous and include better mental clarity, better digestion and healthier skin. The best way to remind yourself to drink enough water is simply by filling a large water bottle and keeping it within reach at all times. There are also several apps that can help you keep track of your water intake through the day.