Sitting job: Why it's dangerous and how you can reduce the risk

Deepak Rawat, National Fitness Manager, Fitness First India, shared some excellent tips to stay healthy while being at a desk job.  

By Salome Phelamei | Last Updated: Sep 08, 2015, 16:28 PM IST

We all have heard about the negative effects of a sitting job. Research has shown that people who sit at a desk job all day have a higher risk of dying from any cause.

There is evidence to prove that even if you exercise, prolonged sitting actively promotes a range of chronic diseases including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity etc.

Studies have also found that sitting for long hours increases one’s risk of getting cancer. Further, one’s chances of suffering from anxiety disorder and depression also rises depending upon the hours he/she spends in the chair.

While studies have shown that sitting kills even if you exercise and eat right, you can still reduce your mortality risk by incorporating some activities in your daily schedule that will help you avoid sitting for longer periods of time.

In an exclusive interview with Salome Phelamei of Zee Media Corp, Deepak Rawat, National Fitness Manager, Fitness First India, shared some excellent tips to stay healthy while being at a desk job.

Mr Deepak Rawat is a certified Personal Trainer, American Council on Exercise, USA; Certified Spinning Instructor; Clinical Exercise Specialist Certification Gold Standard, American Council on Exercise, USA; Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist Certification, American Council on Exercise, USA.

Having more than 11 years of working experience in the fitness industry, Deepak Rawat featured in the Top 10 Personal Trainer in India, Men’s Health, October 2014 edition.

How sitting for longer durations affect one's health?

Sitting for more than six hours a day damages your body from inside. It starts affecting your muscles and organs, thus making you prone to a lot of diseases including weight gain, high cholesterol and many more. Daily exercise does minimize the impact but doesn’t nullify it.

To completely kill the side effects of siting, it is advised - especially on the days you're sitting for work - to stand for five minutes after every 30-60 minutes of sitting.

Additionally, few stretching exercises will help your muscles relax. It will help you increase your efficiency also as sitting for too long affects you both mentally and physically.

Remember that your body is not meant for just staring at screens and sitting on a chair the whole day, there's more to it. If you take care of your health, your health will take care of your work in future.

Best exercises/suggestions for people with a sitting job of more than 8 hours a day:

The best way to start with is to include simple workouts in your daily routine. If you live closer to your office, then it’s better to walk, jog or cycle. On the contrary, in case the office is located far off, try getting off the public transport a few stops earlier than your actual office stop or park your vehicle in a parking lot that is a little far away so that you can walk for a few minutes.

Best exercises to do at a desk job:

Our daily lifestyle directly affects our level of health. Here is a list of simple exercises which can be done while sitting in office, with proper technique and posture.

Stretching: - Stretch your hamstring, gluteus and chest while sitting at your office chair to avoid muscle tightness caused due to long sitting.

Stability: - Single leg standing, pelvic bridge and plank are the best exercises to gain stability.

Strength: - Squats on office chair, wall push-ups, wall angels for lower body, and push and pull strength exercises give strength to your body.

Tips to burn calories while at work

By following simple steps, you can actually burn a lot of calories which you gain by sitting for hours.

  • Walk while you talk on phone
  • Go for the stairs instead of the elevator for a meeting at a different floor
  • Go out during your lunch break