Are you one of a billion people that have a desk job? Do you ever feel that sitting all day is affecting your physical health? With the rise of the digital era, sitting has become the most common posture leaving very little opportunity for physical movement throughout the day.

The side effects of sitting down all day can be as simple as back and neck pain but can also result in serious medical conditions.  Here are 5 side effects to excessive sitting:

  • Heart disease – burning less fat = poor blood circulation = increased chance of fatty acids blocking heart arteries
  • Poor blood circulation – prolonged sitting = slow circulation = blood assembling in legs and feet = possibility of deep vein thrombosis
  • Diabetes – decreased muscle mass and strength = possibility of lowered insulin sensitivity = higher risk of diabetes
  • Chronic body pain – Prolonged sitting and bad posture = possibility to experience pain in the back, neck, hips and legs = musculoskeletal pain disorder.
  • Weight gain – excessive sitting and lack of physical movement = impact on body’s ability to burn fat = increased fat stores = use of carbohydrates for fuel = weight gain

With all the above-mentioned, and as serious as prolonged sitting sounds, the solution to the problem is definitely not leaving your job.  A good start would be to take regular (short) breaks and move around the office as much as possible, use the staircase to get to your office instead of the lift.

Here are some easy desk exercises that will help you improve flexibility, strengthen your muscles and keep you healthy:

    1. Seated Leg Raise

    1. Seated bicycle

    1. Seated elbow-knee

    1. Sitting Squats
    2. Core turn

    1. Dips

    1. Leg stretches

    1. Open arms

They are super easy and won’t take much of your time to make them part of your daily work routine.

Stefanos Thrasyvoulides

BSc Physical Education & Sports Science