Across the country, many of us have now spent the best part of a year working in make-shift offices as we have adjusted to home working to try and prevent the spread of the virus. But what impact is it having on our physical health?
We spend significantly less time moving than our grandparents’ generation did, with daily sitting time at an all-time high. During current lockdown restrictions, this lifestyle has become even more prominent. Once active roles are now increasingly inactive.
But this isn’t good for us. Humans are designed to move and rise to physical challenges and the level of movement required in the jobs of our ancestors such as farming or hunting were key to our survival as a species.
Our lifestyle and jobs have evolved much quicker than the bodies we inherited from our ancestors have. Human behaviour has changed. We move less and sit more. Even if your role requires physical movement and you’ve been able to keep working, there’s no denying we all spend more time sitting in a car, sitting at a desk, or sitting on a sofa to watch TV, than we probably should.
So, what does all this sitting mean for us?
Well, we must first acknowledge the difficulties caused by the circumstances we are currently living through. We do not want to make people feel worse or restrict the activities and skills they are using to help manage this as we stay home to protect the NHS and save lives. However, it is important we understand how sitting for long periods can affect our bodies. Even if we are all taking our Government approved daily exercise we can still be affected by sedentary behaviour.
And this has an impact on our health. A sedentary lifestyle (where we spend four or more hours sitting down each day) may increase risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, Type 2 Diabetes, obesity and musculoskeletal pain, especially in the lower back. Sitting for so long can make us feels stiff, sore and sluggish. It causes us to lose motivation and can increase the pain we feel. Things we really could do without under the circumstances.
Simply moving more, is the best way.