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An Animated Explanation Of Why Sitting Too Much Harms Our Bodies

An Animated Explanation Of Why Sitting Too Much Harms Our Bodies

The act of sitting is one of the most basic human functions. Sitting at work and during our commute is standard protocol in many cases. So is sitting on lunch breaks and during meetings. After a long day of work, what’s one of the most natural things to do? Sit down to unwind, maybe binge watch a favorite Netflix series?

While sitting can be viewed as a way to relax or recuperate, there is surprisingly more at stake.

Stand-Up For Your Health

The human body naturally wants to be active. Our bodies crave recreation and strive to burn off the calories consumed over the course of the day. Whether or not it’s realized, as soon as a person is seated, a small internal mechanism begins to become agitated and desires nothing more than to stand.

The average American spends 7.7 hours a day in sedentary behaviors such as sitting. Quite simply, we are sitting way too much! But why exactly is immoderate sitting bad for the human body? Isn’t sitting a way to relax and give your body a break?

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Realistically, not really. It’s hurting, not helping.

Health Risks of Excessive Sitting

Sure, a temporary break to sit down can help us recuperate after harsh activity or process anxiety or stress. However, many health risks revolve around too much butt to chair contact.

Proper circulation requires standing; our lungs are slightly crunched in most seating positions; therefore, the body can’t get the amount of blood flow it needs while seated.

The bodies largest organ is elastic; our skin is stretchy and requires motion to stay that way over time.

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Uneven pressure on the spine due to sitting can cause wear and tear on discs and strains muscles and joints.

Nerves and blood flow become blocked, so messages to the brain are affected and swelling can occur in the legs and feet.

Excessive sitting can have  cognitive effects as well. The brain needs proper blood flow to function to it’s fullest potential!

There are long-term effects as well, including links to some cancers, heart diseases, diabetes, kidney, and liver issues.

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Worldwide, inactivity causes roughly 9% of premature deaths. That’s around 5 million people a year!

How to be Proactive About Sitting Too Much

The psychology of your office or work space directly affects the amount of time you spend seated. Some companies such as Facebook and Mozilla allow their employees to tailor the height, layout, and configuration of their desks however they see fit. It’s based on personal preference, so their employees always have the option of a standing desk.

These types of freedoms are a step away from cliche, harmful office norms, and a leap in the direction of mobility and healthy lifestyles; just what the human structure desires.

Take walks at work, and whenever possible avoid being seated. Stand while you eat lunch, it’s seriously not that weird. Break the mold of the unhealthy demographic and recognize the real advantages of a healthy workplace.

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Furthermore, avoid these 5 common workplace dangers and check out this infographic on the dangers of sitting too much.

Featured photo credit: Modern Office Setting via homestratosphere.com

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Robert Parmer

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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