Community//

Sitting Disease: Why We Should Be Worried & What We Can Do To Prevent It

Many of us don’t realise that living a sedentary lifestyle can seriously impact our health. Joanne McDonagh of KOS Ergonomics advises us on the risks it can have on your health and how you can help prevent it.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
ergonomics
sitting disease. healthy posture at work

Humans are built to stand upright.
Sitting or lying down can cause more damage than good the less you do of it the more chance you have of living a healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s spending time sitting at work, driving, eating or even watching the TV. This type of lifestyle often referred to as “sitting disease,” may be one of the most unforeseen health threats in this modern time.

The impact can cause numerous illnesses including:

– Heart disease
– Cancer
– Diabetes
– Varicose Veins
– Deep Vein Thrombosis
– Stiff Neck & Shoulders

Physical inactivity contributes to over three million preventable deaths worldwide each year (that’s six per cent of all deaths). It is the fourth leading cause of death due to non-communicable diseases.

It’s also the cause of 21–25 per cent of breast and colon cancers, 27 per cent of diabetes cases, and around 30 per cent of is heart disease. In fact, physical inactivity is the second highest cause of cancer, behind tobacco smoking.

How can you save your health from the sitting disease?

As I mentioned the human body isn’t built to sit in a static position all day. Getting in as much activity when you can help immensely.

How sitting can effect our health

Incorporating activities like:

  • For longer trips, walk or cycle part of the way.
  • Use the stairs instead of the lift or escalator, or at least walk up the escalator.
  • Get off the bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Park further away from wherever you’re going and walk the rest of the way.
  • Calculate how long it takes you to walk one kilometer – you may find you can reach your destination faster by walking than if you wait for public transport. 

But how can I stay active at work?

I’m glad you asked. Before starting my new position here at KOS Ergonomics, I was never educated on the importance of sitting and standing at work. I never had an ergonomic assessment and at the end of a long day I would go home with pains and strains in my neck, back and shoulders from sitting to long.

Having a sit / stand desk at work and proper ergonomic equipment has enormously changed this. My day is spent working in comfort and I feel more active and productive due to this throughout the day. It hasn’t only affected me physical but mentally also.

Sit stand desks are a great way to stay active during the day. Having the ability to switch between a sitting and standing position helps to reduce the physical stress that your body must endure throughout the day and helps to prevent and health related issues of sitting for prolonged periods.

Looking at your workstation & Posture

Poor seat height

Thighs should remain parallel to floor, or knees about level to hips with shins roughly perpendicular and feet supported. If chair is too high try a foot support or old telephone book.

Bad Head posture

Try not to sit in a position of forward head posture for prolonged periods. This can lead to additional pressure on the spine and can cause an added 4.5kgs of pressure for every inch your head posture sits forward.

Rounded shoulders

Don’t sit in positions with rounded shoulders while at your desk. This may lead to shoulder dysfunction. It can also lead to shoulder impingement, instability and general shoulder pain if it isn’t addressed properly.

Unsupported back

People have a tendency when sitting in unsupported chairs to slouch forward, this can cause rounding of the lower back, disrupting the natural curvature of the spine and lead to chronic low back pain

Unhealthy wrist positions

Remember to keep your mouse and keyboard within easy reach at your desk. Maintain a neutral & comfortable position for your wrists while typing and using your mouse. Give your hands and wrists a break often


Why not keep in touch with us by following us on our social media accounts. Here we will be updating our blog with lots of tips and advice to help you to mind your posture or if you are an employer tips to mind their posture.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

sedentary lifestyle
Community//

What Experts Say About Sedentary Lifestyle

by Johnny James
Community//

The real truth about Sitting vs Standing

by Daniel Angelini
Man sitting on a stool
Community//

Death by Sitting: Why Sitting is Killing You

by Patrick W. Dunne

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.