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

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


5 Things you do not know about India’s Healthcare System

India has performed exceptionally well at every front after independence in spite of a series of natura and man made calamities, uncontrolled population growth, and unstable governments. Had these hindrance factors not been there, the country would have emerged as a leader in every aspect. Nevertheless, the tremendous growth can’t be underestimated from any angle.

India’s healthcare system was in extremely bad shape after independence. There were no medical facilities; the infrastructure was pathetic, and a severe scarcity of trained medical professionals. The scene has changed today dramatically when India is being considered as one of the preferred countries for medical facilities. People from many countries come to India for advanced treatments.  

Five things remain hidden under the carpet, but are incredibly important!

When we talk about Indian healthcare system, the focus always remains at big and medium size cities. A big chunk of small and medium cities gets ignored. There are many issues that don’t come on the surface in the process.

  1. A small percentage (5 percent according to macroeconomic reports) is covered under health insurance. Rest all pay medical expenses out of pocket. It isn’t a healthy situation and government needs to put focus on covering every person under medical insurance.
  2. Scarcity of low-cost generic drugs is a major problem in the country. People have to spend extravagantly on high-priced drugs just for the sake of brand. At one side, they are not covered under medical insurance and at another side they need to spend heavily. Thus, it is a double-sided sword. Control on the pharmaceutical sector is another prime focus area.
  3. Availability of high-quality medical devices is the third biggest thing that most of the people don’t even realize. Production of international standard equipment can be possible by attracting more foreign investment in the sector. Government needs to make it lucrative so that renowned international companies come forward.
  4. In India, there is a trend of serving in high-class premium hospitals of urban areas after finishing a degree in Medical science. It is mainly because of poor infrastructure and less scope of growth in the rural sector. As a result, the majority of the population is left on the mercy of substandard medical assistance or fraud doctors. 
  5. Establishing a good healthcare setup is predominantly a profit-making business. Hence, there is a focus on recovering the cost as fast as possible. As a result, people need to pay unnecessarily high for services that can be made available quite reasonably. Poor quality of treatment and infrastructure of public hospitals force people to go to private hospitals. 

A lot of work is still required to be done for improving healthcare system in India.  The fact of the matter is that India has been ranked at 112th position out of 190 countries by the WHO. It is certainly not a respectable position for the country. Government is looking trying to bridge the gaps as much as possible. Private institutions, NGOs, and charitable trusts are contributing to the gigantic task as per their capacity.