by Sudha Bhat on  February 16, 2013 at 12:04 PM Health Watch
 Desk Jobs Can Pose Health Risks
Work these days has undergone a magnitude of changes as compared to what it was many years back. While our grandparents did work involving a lot of physical activity, nowadays work is most often a desk job or is computer-related. This type of work has, no doubt, our minds working very hard; but that also means that we sit and stare at the computer for hours together with few breaks without even realizing that we need to get up and stretch our legs a bit.

When we sit down for most part of the day, we are in a static position. Many times, this is also coupled with a bad posture. Prolonged sitting can cause impairment in fat and cholesterol metabolism. When we keep doing this subconsciously day in and day out, in the long run, this leads to muscle damage, back, neck and even shoulder pain.

Spending almost an entire day in front of a computer leads to strain and fatigue of our eyes resulting in burning and itching of the eyes and headaches.

This so called 'chair-disease' or 'sedentary lifestyle' could eventually lead to increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, some forms of cancers and premature death. Numerous studies have been conducted to date to conclusively prove this.

A study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity showed that while many of the women participating in the study met or exceeded 150 minutes of physical activity per week, which is the federal government`s current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, in reality only a fraction of the women's days were spent being physically active. The participants of this study spent an average of about nine hours of the day just sitting.

We need to understand the health hazards of being physically inactive and should look for more ways to get moving. It is important to understand what we are doing during those non-gym or non-exercise times in our day and its long term effects on our health.

So, here are some valuable tips:

When you arrive at work, make it a point to walk up those few flight of stairs instead of fighting to get into the elevator to reach your office on time.

Make sure you get up and take frequent short breaks. This will get your blood circulation going and help lower your cholesterol and triglycerides.

Stretch, walk around and do some non-computer related activities. And if you think you get too involved in your work, set a timer on your computer as a reminder to pause your work and get moving around.

Opt to walk and go to your favorite restaurant for lunch whenever possible. You will certainly feel more energetic when you walk around and get some fresh air.

While at home, walk and talk on the phone and while watching TV, get up and move around during commercial breaks.

If you make this walking around while taking short breaks a daily habit, you surely will enhance your metabolism and you could eventually also lose those extra unwanted calories. Stress levels would automatically go down and you will feel less fatigued and more productive.

We have all heard about 'Spare the rod and spoil the child'; now it's time to 'Spare the chair and reap long-term health benefits'. It's your life after all, take charge of your own destiny and enjoy it to the fullest!

Source: Medindia

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