Many people dedicate themselves to a weight loss plan without considering the amount of time they spend sitting down each day. Although it may not seem like a significant factor, any weight loss program can be thwarted by how much time we spend in our seats.
If you are a full-time office dweller, chances are you spend at least eight hours a day sitting in a chair in front of a computer. Even if you hit the gym after work, you can't get back the time you spend nearly motionless. The Stanford Center on Longevity says that the amount of time we spend sitting in meetings, traffic, and in our cubicles can increase our chances of developing chronic diseases, including obesity.
"Lack of physical activity is not the same as 'too much' sitting," Neville Owen, professor of health behavior at the University of Queensland in Australia, told the news source. "We used to think that just exercising was the answer. Exercising is still very important, but in addition, we are learning that too much sitting may be in itself a problem."
Experts think these health complications arise due to a lack in activity in the postural muscles, which we use while standing. Research shows that activity in these muscles may help process fat and cholesterol.
An editorial published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2010 honed in on this theory further to discover the health effects of sitting. Data collected by researchers found that individuals who do not get up from their desks at work for the occasional lunch stroll or cup of coffee have an increased risk of disease.
"Climbing the stairs, rather than using elevators and escalators, five minutes of break during sedentary work, or walking to the store rather than taking the car will be as important as exercise," said the Swedish-based experts who gathered the information, according to WebMD.
Instead of accepting your role as a desk dweller, consider doing more for your body and your health on a daily basis. In addition to getting the recommended dose of physical activity to maintain your weight, consider parking farther away from the office building to get in a few extra steps. Walk across the room to talk to a colleague as opposed to sending an email. These precautionary measures can pay off over time.