With the rise in various forms of technology over the past few decades, we spend more and more hours of our days sitting in front of backlit screens. The use of computers has extended into our workplaces and our homes. In fact, since 1950, sedentary jobs have risen by almost 83%. This means that more and more Americans are at risk for the host of problems which come from sitting for lengthy periods of time. According to an article published by Johns Hopkins University, extended periods of physical inactivity were linked to an increased risk for some cancers, depression, anxiety, obesity, and high cholesterol. Our caveman days are obviously over. We no longer spend a great majority of our days foraging for food or scavenging for berries. So, how can we change this unhealthy pattern of over sitting before it ends us?
As more and more Americans become educated about the dangers of sitting, some offices are already ahead of the game. Introducing…the standing desk!
Utilizing the standing desk to prevent sitting is a great alternative. However, a report published by CNN states that those who stood at standing desks were more likely to skip going to the gym knowing that they did not sit throughout the day. Since standing is not exactly tedious physical activity, it does not serve as an alternative to exercising for the recommended 30 minutes per day. Thus, while standing desks are obviously great tools, their users must continue to exercise.
Sitting for extended periods of time is harmful to our health and decreases our lifespans. We have to be conscious about how much time we spend inactive versus how much time we spend actively. So, maybe we should don our sneakers and head out the door for a walk in the park instead of clicking “Next episode” on Netflix. After all, it is a matter of life and death.