Reversing the Negative Effects of Sitting

Sitzender Junge ("Sitting boy") by W...

Reversing the Negative Effects of Sitting Werner Stötzer, 1956 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of us have jobs that require us to sit at a desk and now we are have been warned by new clinical research studies about how hazardous that is for our health. Our bodies evolved to move and remain active,.  So the this leaves a question as to what we can do to keep from becoming a victim to our modern lifestyle.  The real challenge is to find the balance with our lives when it comes to those of us who have inactive job and needing to preserving our health?

A new research study from researchers at the University of Missouri checked out the impacts of sitting and it's impact on our health.  The study was done using 11 healthy boys prior to and after a period of sitting.

The scientists found, that sitting for extended periods decreased the blood circulation to the legs. A bit more surprise was that extended sitting likewise minimized blood flow to the arms.

The authors then had the 11 test subjects participate in  a 10-minute walk, and they discovered that a short little bit of movement had the ability to reverse the impacts of 6 hours of sitting.

It's vital to keep in mind that the test subjects were young men, so it's unpredictable how well a 10-minute walk would work for older office workers, however the study outcomes are motivating. The take-away from this study is quite easy: if you need to work at a desk all day, make sure you schedule some time throughout the day to get some exercise like a quick brisk walk.

Additional choices to help off set the negative effects of prolonged sitting:

More manufactures are selling stand-up desks that have actually been shown to ease the issues associated with sitting for extended periods of time.  Some individuals are even places a treatment in place and walking slowly (2 mph) while working at their standing desk.
Make your lunch break an exercise break. Getting some gym time in in the middle of the day can be a great way to stimulate yourself.

Reference:
Restaino RM, Holwerda SW, Credeur DP, Fadel PJ, Padilla J. Impact of extended sitting on lower and upper limb micro- and macrovascular dilator function. Experimental Physiology 2015; 100(7):829 -38

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Dr. Mathew Stockstad, M.Div, D.C.

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