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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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