The Evidence

Simple activities to be active at your desk – Part 3

Desk-based workers can spend a lot of time at their desk sitting. If you are a regular follow of this blog, you will know that high levels of sitting time can have several detrimental impacts on health and wellbeing, including on cognitive function, risk of diabetes, physical function and quality of life. Prolonged sitting – that is, sitting for a long time without taking a break – is emerging as particularly harmful, which is why we promote regular breaks from sitting at BeUpstanding. Indeed, a 2022 systematic review and meta-analysis by Loh and colleagues highlighted the beneficial effects of having regular physical activity breaks on blood sugar, insulin, and triacylglycerol measures. Their article concluded that taking short breaks from prolonged sitting results in better glycemic control and improved metabolic control compared to individuals who do not incorporate short physical activity breaks. One impact of too much sitting for too long is on our musculoskeletal health. Here, prolonged sitting can cause tight hip flexors and leg muscles. Vanroelen (2022) states that these imbalances are due to the shortened and lengthened muscles in your legs due to muscle weakness and tightness. These imbalances can lead to a compensatory hyperlordosis or excessive inward…

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Can Too Much Sitting be Contributing to Depression?

A recent blog post titled ‘Can Too much Sitting be Contributing to Depression’ was published by the Sedentary Behaviour Research Network. It looked at the relationship between sitting and depression and reported that the research seems to support the idea that excessive sitting is positively correlated with an increase in depression. It also highlighted two distinct types of sedentary sitting behaviour: mentally passive (ex. Watching television) and mentally active (ex.reading or driving), and that it is the mentally passive sitting that could have deleterious health effects. You can read the full blog here.

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