Sitting at your desk for 8 or more hours a day can really take a toll on your health, but it can often feel like there’s no way around it. Become aware of the side effects, and take heed with these ways to prevent the consequences of sitting for extended periods of time.

When you are sitting:

  • The electrical activity in your leg muscles shut off.
  • The rate your body burns calories drops to about 1 per minute.
  • The enzymes that help to burn the fat in your body drop significantly.
  • Good cholesterol drops significantly.
  • Insulin decreases, and the risk of diabetes rises.

To counteract the problem:

  • Interrupt sitting whenever you can by stretching, walking, marching in place, or doing jumping jacks at your desk. Get others involved and make a friendly competition out of it!
  • If you can, try biking to work, and take the stairs rather than the elevator. You can also park as far away from the building as possible to get more walking in. Consider turning a meeting into a walking brainstorming session to further break up your day at your desk.
  • Physical therapists often suggest that you try to take a break from sitting every 20 minutes, so walk around the building if it’s nice outside, or take the longer route to the bathroom.

Sitting can often be unavoidable, but there are multiple ways to negate problems from arising. Strive to be more active whenever possible!