On the office chair, in the car, on the couch: Most people sit too often and for too long. Among other things, this increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The solution: More movement - in everyday life and when sitting.
It starts with going to school - sitting down. Later, most people work at their desks - on an office chair. And even after work, a lot happens sitting down: driving, watching TV, eating. At the latest when the back aches from tension and the legs are heavy as lead, the question arises as to how healthy a predominantly sedentary lifestyle is at all. Long sitting, eight or more hours a day in a chair, the human body is not prepared for that, medical professionals have long since agreed.
Sitting for long periods of time promotes illness
Sitting for too long and lack of exercise can lead to the development of various diseases. Sitting for long periods of time reduces the consumption of calories. The metabolism as well as the cardiovascular system are running on the back burner. The risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases such as diabetes increases. Sitting for long periods of time also strains the leg veins. When you sit, the blood sinks more easily in the legs and thus stresses the blood vessels. The reason: the calf muscle pump, which actively supports the blood flow in the leg veins when walking and pumps the blood back to the heart, rests when sitting. If you sit in a chair, you bend your knees and hips. Both 90-degree angles make it difficult for the blood to return to the heart. This causes the blood to build up and the legs can swell. Sitting for long periods, for example on an airplane, can even lead to thrombosis. If there is weak connective tissue, impaired blood circulation can promote the development of varicose veins.
Bad posture due to long periods of sitting
Sagging shoulders, sunken chests and a ball belly - posture also suffers from sitting for too long. Because muscles that are not used become slack. Working on the screen also forces the body permanently into a forced posture. The head is tilted forward, the shoulders cramp, and pain in the shoulder and neck area is not infrequently the result of this poor posture. Sitting on office chairs for too long can also cause the leg muscles to atrophy over time if there is no exercise. The problem: An initial weak posture can eventually turn into irreversible postural damage. Then the intervertebral discs flatten and the skeleton deforms.
More exercise in between
Employees in the office cannot avoid sitting in office chairs for long periods, any more than colleagues who sit on an office chair in the control center for eight to twelve hours and coordinate the fire brigade's operations. Anyone who only sits for work needs one of the so-called control center office chairs or 24-hour office chairs, which make long and active sitting possible. However, a few practical everyday tips are also important: Small breaks should be possible everywhere. Doctors recommend changing your sitting position frequently and actively looking for opportunities to move. That could be a few steps to a colleague or going to the canteen. Just a few steps in between stimulate the circulation and the return of blood from the legs. If you have to sit for a long time on a plane, bus or in an office chair, you can use gymnastic exercises. Inconspicuous gymnastics while sitting is sometimes even possible at the office table. Exercise is very important. If you have to sit for a long time at work, you should put on your sneakers after work and jog a few laps around the block. Swimming is even better because water sports take the strain off the joints.