Health experts have warned that remaining seated for prolonged periods could turn out to be detrimental for our health - even deadly at times. In fact, since long, scientists have been repeatedly warning people not to remain seated for too long, as this may be harmful for your health even if you exercise regularly. In fact, where you spend your time sitting is immaterial - you may be sitting in office, in the car, at school, in front of a computer or a television, but what actually counts is the number of hours you spend in a sitting position.
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Although research in this regard is still in its initial stage, a number of researches have hinted that people who keep sitting for most part of the day are not only vulnerable to put on unwanted fat, but may also have heart attacks and eventually succumb to the condition.
Elin Ekblom-Bak of the Swedish School of Sports and Health Services has suggested in an editorial published recently in the British Journal of Sports Medicine that the authorities need to do some rethinking regarding the manner they describe physical activity with a view to emphasize on the perils to sitting for prolonged periods. It needs to be mentioned here that though the health authorities have released instructions suggesting the least amount of physical activity necessary for any individual, they are yet to recommend any limitation regarding the time that people should remain in sitting position. According to Ekblom-Bak, our body begins to send detrimental indications after just spending four hours in sitting position. Elucidating her view, Ekblom-Bak clarified that the genes controlling the quantity of glucose and fat in our body begins to stop working or blackout after we have been sitting for over four hours.
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It needs to be emphasized here that sitting at the desk for long hours is also detrimental for the health of people who exercise regularly. A physical activity specialist at the World Health Organization (WHO), Tim Armstrong says that people who undertake daily workouts, but also spend long hours sitting would benefit immensely if they spread their exercise schedule throughout the day, instead of having a single session.
This was, however, not good news for 31-year-old Aytekin Can. Can works in a financial firm in London and spends most part of his day sitting before a computer. However, on more than a few evenings every week, he also teaches jiu jitsu - Japanese martial arts encompassing wrestling and also spends time doing Thai boxing. Although Can admitted that remaining in a still position for prolonged periods is harmful for health, he hoped that the fact that he is active whenever he has time, may be of some help.
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Notwithstanding Can's perception regarding the perils of sitting for long, findings of a research, which followed over 17,000 Canadians for approximately 12 years or so, published in 2009 showed that irrespective of whether they exercised or not, people who spent most of their time sitting faced a greater risk of death compared to others. According to Peter Katzmarzyk of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge who led the Canadian research, said that they were yet to find sufficient confirmation of the hypothesis that sitting was detrimental for health. However, he acknowledged that it is always better if a person gets up often, as this interrupts the inactive manners.
Statistics made available from a survey conducted in the United States in 2003-04 showed that on average most Americans spent more time sitting in cars rather than sitting at their desks. However, substantiating her views, Ekblom-Bak has emphasized that people ought to continue working out as it has plenty of advantages vis-à-vis our health. She added that when people are in their office that they ought to try and get up as frequently as possible to interrupt with their sitting. Ekblom-Bak has a suggestion too. She says, "Don't always send emails to your colleagues in office. At times, you should also get up, walk up to their desk and talk to them while in a standing position."
Meanwhile, health experts have emphasized on the need for more studies on the subject to find out the exact extent to which remaining seated for long periods is harmful for our health. They have also suggested that the future researches on this subject should gauge the potential adverse effects of remaining seated for long.
Too little exercise is not useful, while doing it in excess too is not effective, while not undertaking any exercise may prove to be devastating for your health. In fact, it is never advisable to adopt a regular and rigorous exercise regimen. In case you require some inspiration to start exercising, you ought to know that there are many health benefits of performing exercise daily. Some of them are mentioned below briefly.