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Sitting ducks: How your desk job can affect your heart health

We are all aware that having a sedentary lifestyle can put us at risk from a variety of different preventable illnesses. Being inactive for long periods of time in your daily life can have a very detrimental impact on your heart health. Recent reports have shown that sitting, regardless of if you have an adequate fitness regime, significantly increases your risk of early death.

How Sitting Impacts Your Cardiovascular Health

Sitting down all day can be extremely damaging to your body. There are a variety of things that can happen to your body from sitting for excessive periods of time:

Lack of blood flow
The restrictive nature of sitting allows the blood flow to slow down all over your body. This gives fat a chance to deposit itself on to your blood vessels and can ultimately lead to heart disease due to the build-up in your arteries.

Your body cannot adequately process fats
When you sit for an extended period of time, your body loses the ability to produce important enzymes that help dissolve the fat in your blood. If this fat cannot be removed, it then gets stored which leads to weight gain and sometimes obesity. Obesity is one of the main causes of heart disease.

Develop an insulin resistance
Being resistant to insulin means that your cells are not equipped to deal with glucose, better known as sugar. High blood sugar levels are known to be a precursor in developing conditions such as type 2 diabetes and while it is possible to have type 2 diabetes without having a weight issue, there is a strong correlation between excess weight, diabetes and heart disease.

Your heart is not the only thing that can suffer as a result of sitting all day. A variety of issues can arise such as skeletal issues, posture concerns as neurological complaints caused by poor blood circulation.

What Can Be Done To Offset The Damage?

In today’s environment, many of us have to spend prolonged periods of time in an office or at a desk. However, sitting for approximately six-eight hours a day is not conducive when trying to achieve optimum heart health. Here are some ways that you can introduce some extra movement into your day;

Take A Walk
Take a few minutes to walk around during your breaks at work. A brisk walk introduces an increase of oxygen to your body which strengthens your heart. It can also help to boost mental clarity as well.

Invest In A Standing Desk
Get rid of sitting all together and opt for this option. These kinds of desks are great for improving posture and allows blood to make its way freely around your body

Take The Stairs
Using the stairs instead of taking the lift is an easy way to offset the impact of sitting.

Walk Instead Of Driving
Instead of driving take public transport or see if it is close enough to travel to on foot.