These are some key side effects of a sedentary routine:
1. Muscles burn less fat, which leads to higher cholesterol and blood pressure.
2. The brain receives less oxygen from decreased blood circulation, slowing all functions (and increasing your chances of being in a bad mood).
3. Idle muscles struggle to respond to insulin production from the pancreas. The organ then overcompensates by producing more insulin, which can lead to diabetes and various cancers.
4. Stomach and leg muscles loosen, hip flexors tighten, and leg bones can soften (increasing likelihood of osteoporosis).
5. Collagen in the spine hardens around tendons and ligaments, decreasing mobility and negatively affecting posture.
Here are a few solutions:
First, try the proper posture techniques at right when you're working. Or, you can build your own standing desk on the cheap and alternate between standing and sitting if your setup allows. As the study suggests, an exercise ball is a good alternative to your office chair, as it challenges core muscles and encourages good posture. And lastly, when you get off work, go for a walk, and avoid sitting down in front of the television.
Infographics: The Washington Post