Sitting is a welcome break from having to stand and walk for hours. It gives our legs, backs and other body parts a much needed rest. But for the people whose work force them to sit for hours at a stretch, sitting might be the most irritating thing in the world. Yet they sit for hours every day and you will be shocked to know that sitting for prolonged periods can be very bad for your health.

People who have to sit for longer periods in front of the computer or at a workstation face many health challenges like back pain, RSI (repetitive strain injury), eye straining, tensed muscles, tiredness and increased risk of diabetes. Even if you get up for just five minutes after every half an hour and take a stroll, you reduce the chances of contracting diabetes by a large percentage.

Here are some negative effects of prolonged sitting on your body:

  • The blood circulation of the body gets affected.
  • Blood flow to the brain gets reduced. In fact as you try to concentrate hard on your work for hours, sitting all the time will actually reduce your efficiency.
  • Your metabolism gets affected. Especially if you sit for more than an hour right after lunch.
  • Increases risk of heart diseases if you follow this routine for years.
  • Causes back problems.
  • Pain in the lower back or coccyx area.
  • Fat gain and increase in bad cholesterol in the body.

As you can see, prolonged sitting harms your health in a multitude of ways. What’s more scary is the fact that even if you go to the gym regularly, all the benefits from regular workouts get negated by this one bad habit. In fact, researchers opine that regular work breaks might be more beneficial to a person rather than rocking the treadmill and pumping the weights in the gym.

Here are a few steps that will help you build a healthy work routine and keep you in shape for the coming years:

  • Get up and take a stroll around the lobby for at least 5 minutes after every 45 minutes to 1 hour of sitting.
  • If you cannot walk in your office, just get up and stand at your desk for 4 – 5 minutes after an hour of work.
  • If standing feels odd, just take a trip to the restroom even if you do not have to. Stretch yourself a bit if possible. That will get the blood flowing to all parts of your body.
  • Take a 10 minute coffee or water break at least twice every day.


Our work culture often forces us to sit for prolonged periods of time. In fact people who take regular breaks are often looked down upon as people who do not work seriously. Thankfully, this mindset is changing fast and everyone has started to understand the risks associated with being a chair potato at the office. So follow the tips in this article and your health will thank you in the later years.