So is sitting for long hours that bad for your health? If so, how?
How do I stay healthy even with a more sedentary lifestyle?
Let me answer some of these questions for you.
You might also want to read:
- How to make a study space for yourself as a student
- How to keep your desk clean and tidy all the time!
- The benefits of having a comfortable study space for yourself
Why sitting for long hours is a health issue for students?
Decreased metabolism and risk for developing lifestyle diseases
As students, we have to spend long hours sitting- studying, reading, writing up the next set of assignments, driving around instead of walking et cetera..
And these long hours of sitting means that little to no physical activity.
If there is no physical activiy, your body won’t be spending all the energy that it has acquired through food. Then all this energy accumulates in our body, so our metabolic processes covert this excess into storable forms and pop them into storage.
Most of the energy is stored as fat (or bad cholesterol) and this can lead to several other health problems mainly something called metabolic syndrome.
This syndrome is where diabetes, obesity and bad cholesterol all meets.
Ans as a medical student, I can confidently tell you that these conditions are risk factors for developing serious cardiovascular diseases, cancer, dementia and a lot of that jargon.
If you are interested, you can read this article from WebMD.
Incorrect posture that lead to pain
Long hours of sitting without changing your posture can lead to severe pain and even conditions like cervical spondylosis.
You need to be mindful of the time you spend hunching over the desk like a cooked shrimp, or your vertebral column might end up in deformities.
Staring at the screens for a very long time without blinking can lead to drying up of cornea, the anterior most covering of the eye.
It can cause pain and irritation.
Moreover, the muscles that help move the eyeballs get fatigued and can lead to pain, decreased vision, tiredness etc.
Mental health disorders
This is not directly linked with sitting too long, but indirectly it is.
Us human beings are social beings, and we deserve a break from whatever job we are doing and get some fresh air.
I’m not saying go join a thousand clubs or crash all the parties and get drunk- never.
Even if it’s just one, have a friend to talk to.
Be more mindful of your life and find people to spend your time with.
So how can I bypass these bad effects?
- Try to stand while studying- whenever you can.
- A Standing desk can help you from sitting for too long, and also get this- standing burns even more calories than sitting.
The best sitting posture at a desk for studying is to sit with a straight back, shoulders are neck relaxed, eblows close to the body, with the screen at the eye level and the book in a position such that you don’t have to hunch over to read from it.
A supportive chair would be a wise investment. It should also have arm rests so that your hands can rest while working.
Get a device holder so that you can see the screen at eye level.
- Take breaks to walk in between long sitting hours.
- Wash your face and eyes during the breaks.
- Try to be mindful during staring at the screens for a long time, and blink. Actually blink in between so that your cornea won’t dry up.
- Ditch the lift and use the stairs. And use less of vehicles and travel on foot whenever you can.
- Eat a balanced diet so that your body and mind are more focused and have enough energy through the day.
- Excercise regularly to maintain your physical health and metabolism
- Get enough sleep so that your muscles and brain can recover from the fatigues.
So in conclusion,
- don’t sit for too long; if you have to, take breaks in between and a posture that won’t hurt your back
- try to do moderate excercise and be active
- blink while using a digital screen
That’s all I have to say about sitting for too long as students!