Risks of having a sedentary job and how to avoid them

Have a sedentary job? Know the risks and how to avoid them!

Many people think they have it made when they have a sedentary job which basically means that you sit at a desk all day.  A lot of the time that includes cool air conditioning and a nice comfy chair.  Sounds awesome right?  Don’t be so quick to take that position.  Sedentary jobs come with a lot of potential health hazards.  Don’t fear, I’m here to help you identify those hazards as well as how to avoid them.

Associated Risks

Perhaps one of the most apparent hazards is weight gain.  Sitting in a chair all day doesn’t promote much caloric burn which is the cause for the weight gain.  I’m sure you eat throughout the day (at your desk or sitting down in a nearby break room) but if you are sitting most of the day you’re not really burning many calories.  As we know weight gain can lead to other potential health related issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

Another health risk that not many are aware of is increased risk of blood clots which can travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism (blockage in the arteries of the lungs).  According to a study published in the British Medical Journal.  This is a lot more susceptible to happen in women.  Although it is a small increase in risk, it still exists, especially for those with deep vein thrombosis.

If you are not an active person outside of work your fitness levels diminish which can lead to issues such as constant shortness of breath.  According to several studies on this subject most inactive individuals with sedentary jobs experience a shorter life span overall.

Depending on how you sit, you can also gain bad posture from constant slumping in your chair which can also lead to constant neck and lower back pain.

How to avoid those hazards

Although this may all sound scary, you need not worry.  These risks can be dramatically reduced by following a few simple steps below:

1. Purchase a pedometer and set a goal to walk a certain amount of steps each day, shoot for two miles worth of steps initially and increase as you see fit.

2. Don’t email Sue down the hall or Bob on the second floor, walk or take the stairs instead to deliver a message.

3.Break your 1 hour lunch break into two 30 minute halves.  Use the first 30 minutes to eat your lunch and the last 30 minutes to walk around the building or outside.  You can even go a step further and formulate a walking group at your job to join you on your 30 minute walks.

4. Take time to massage your legs throughout the day.  It serves as a small rejuvenation and really stimulates blood flow.

5. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water.  Water serves many important purposes such as ridding the body of toxins, pushing nutrients throughout the body, body temperature regulation and much more.

Follow these 5 simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to a happier, healthier lifestyle!

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