If your job or a disability requires you to sit often during the day, your waistline is likely suffering.
Long periods of sitting can be a significant health risk and expand your waist size if you let it, but you can make a few changes that will lessen the impact.
Effects of Prolonged Sitting
People who often complain of bad knees and backs and have mobility problems probably live a sedentary lifestyle that has them sitting for a good portion of their day. Sitting down for long periods can give you weak, stiff joints, muscles and bones, and make you more prone to injury and illness. Research proves that sitting for long periods increases your chances for developing heart disease, due to inflammation and increases in blood cholesterol.
Sitting for long periods will not only give you a big waist and bulging belly, but also a flat and shapeless rear end. If you care anything about your figure, you understand that these three things combined aren’t very attractive.
Movement is important for our body’s fluidity, flexibility and strength. Movement also allows our blood to circulate properly and our cells to function as they should. So sitting should never be a long-term static position if you want to maintain the activity of your limbs, better health and an attractive physique.
Take A Break
You may not be able to do much about a job that requires you to sit at a desk and, say, operate a computer all day. That’s nearly 8 hours of your day when you are sitting down and virtually immobile – not to mention the other 8 hours or more sitting or resting at home. You don’t have to sit the entire time, however, and there are even certain types of office equipment now available that require you to stand rather than sit to use the computer or telephone.
Taking frequent breaks throughout the day can work wonders for your waist. Reportedly, taking periodic moments away from your desk to stretch, walk around or do some other exercise (no matter how small) can reduce your waist size quite a bit over time. Maintaining a waist size of about 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men can protect your heart.
The more breaks you take, the better – and the length of time isn’t as important as the fact that you are in motion more than you are sitting. You don’t even have to do any structured exercise either. Simply incorporate motion – standing (while on the phone), stooping (to tie your shoes), lifting (boxes and files to a top shelf), and walking down the hall or across the room (to deliver a message), for example – into your desk duties.
Stand-up/sit-down computer desks are also available so that you can use your computer while standing or sitting. Standing strengthens the muscles in your legs and keeps your posture strong. If you want to minimize the amount of sitting you do at your desk, you might want to invest in one of these desks. While you’re standing, you can exercise a little too and keep that waist of yours elongated and trim.