The bad effects of constant sitting

When workers sit for large portions of the day, they may be at a higher risk of developing back, leg, cognitive and heart problems.

While office work may not be thought of as high-risk, California office workers could be susceptible to a few nonfatal injuries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the professional and business services industry recorded 201,800 workplace wounds across the nation in a single year. Some of these injuries may be tied to the continual sitting office employees are obliged to take part in.

Back problems

When a person remains sedentary for hours at a time, he or she may start to suffer from back pain. This pain can be caused by strain to the trapezius muscle, which extends from the neck to the shoulders. The trapezius becomes strained when a person sits slumped forward. Being deskbound can also cause herniated lumbar disks, a tightened psoas muscle and other back pains.

Leg issues

The legs are not immune to the strains of sitting. In fact, spending large amounts of the day sitting can lead to a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Walking, running and standing causes the bones in a person's leg to grow stronger. When these activities are limited, a person's bones may not be as thick and dense. Long-term sitting may also cause reduced circulation throughout the legs, which can lead to varicose veins, swollen ankles or deep vein thrombosis.

Cognitive changes

Not all problems caused by sitting are related to the musculoskeletal system. Some workers may notice a decrease in their cognitive abilities when they spend large portions of the day sitting at a desk because their brains are not receiving an adequate amount of brain-enhancing chemicals. When muscles are not active, less oxygen and blood is pumped through the brain, which can translate to a slow-moving brain.

Heart disease

Lots of inactivity can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. This increased risk stems from the reduced fat burned during a session of sitting as opposed to a session of walking or standing. The buildup of fatty acids can easily create clogs in the heart of a deskbound worker.

Oftentimes, bad posture plays a role in a person's injuries. Employees who are required to sit for large portions of the day should strive to improve their posture by doing the following:

  • Sitting up straight.
  • Keeping their feet flat on the ground.
  • Maintaining a 90-degree angle at the elbow.
  • Using lumbar support.
  • Keeping arms close to the body.

Sitting with proper posture may reduce the issues caused to the back, legs, heart and brain.

California residents who work in an office-like environment should be aware of the issues that prolonged sitting can cause. If an injury takes place at work, it may be beneficial to talk with an attorney who is familiar with this type of personal injury case.