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Sitting is the New Smoking – Simple Ways How Not to Sit in Chair for Long

Remote work, gaming, freelancing, online studying, watching movies – plenty of things these days can make you sit in a chair for endless hours. Remote work is the new industry norm and is set to continue probably forever, so you need to find unique ways to maintain physical fitness. Sitting for long hours without moving an inch can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health.

long hours sitting job

Sitting in chair for hours is a habit that turns into a sort of addiction, and that is why people call it as bad as smoking. Smoking kills you slowly, and you are not able to quit easily. It is the same with sitting – it kills you slowly, and you won’t even realize it. But there are ways to improve things and reduce the sitting hours or at least lessen the negative impact of it. You just need to motivate yourself and make some smart moves to get you up from your chair and give a breather to your butts.

Like secretary spread, some of the physical side effects of sitting include pain in buttocks, heart diseases, shoulder and back pain, increase in belly fat, weight gain in no time and even obesity if not taken care of at the right time. This might lead to psychologically low self-esteem, depression, eating disorder and body dissatisfaction. And of course, you will waste your time looking for quick weight loss solutions or searching for Wegovy injections for chronic weight management.

Sitting in a chair for long hours harms us in many ways, but just like an addiction, the habit of sitting in chair for long hours clings to us and never leaves us – remember the black suit Spider-Man – the symbiote costume?

Here are some cute and unique ways to reduce your sitting hours and stay healthy mentally and physically.

Keep the treadmill in your workroom

Suggestions are all over the net on keeping your favorite painting, best accessories and some plants around your workstation. The thing that they do not suggest is keeping your treadmill in the room where you work.

Seeing something that can keep you physically fit will certainly motivate you to get onto it – if not today, then tomorrow. If not tomorrow, then the day after tomorrow. Having something away from your eyes means your mind does not process it often. Once you keep it near you, the motivation will automatically kick in, and you will find yourself literally running.

You do not need to hop on to the treadmill during every break. The idea is to keep your mind aware of your running goals. More often than not, your mind will push you to use the treadmill. Sitting too long can kill you even if you exercise. So remember that the treadmill is not a complete solution to reduce the side effects of sitting for long hours. You still need to reduce your sitting hours and adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Place a basket of fruits on your workstation – but not the knife or the peeler

Well, it does not mean the basket has to have a lot of fruits, and you must do a lot of fruit and greens shopping. Again, it’s the same concept as the treadmill in your workroom – if it is in front of you, it will motivate you to eat healthy and give you a break from long sitting. And how will it make you stand from the chair? Simple. Place the knife and the peeler away from you on some other table or shelf in the room.

So it is a two-way benefit. You eat healthy, and you get to stand and walk around. A small break might even lead to some good time away from your workstation, which you usually avoid when working in a flow. Get up from the chair, stretch, and slice your favorite fruits to eat.

The cute kids on a mission to reduce your sitting hours

This might sound a little crazy, but this is the cutest. Tell your kids to knock on your door and tell you that it’s time to take a break. No app and no alarm can do what they can do. You might turn off the app reminders and just turn off the alarm on the desk, but when kids walk in and urge you to get up from the chair, you won’t be able to say no. You will get a break from the continuous sitting and get quality time to spend with them during that nice little break.

Don’t stress them, and make it a routine for them. Consider it as help from them and get it done sometimes. Once you find your mojo, you will be happy to do it through your apps and alarm. Happiness, family time and physical wellness – all in one go. It does not get better. Overcoming the sitting too long issue with the help of your lovely kids is simply the cutest way. And in the process, you also set an example for them.

Take charge and answer the calls and doorbell

This might not sound like the best of the ideas. After all, important meetings, conference calls and work assignments need a high concentration level. But it is better than seeing belly fat or experiencing pain in buttocks due to sitting. When you wish to get up and answer the fixed phones or check out who is at the door, just get up and do it. And if you do not wish to use technology – press a button on the alarm bell on your desk to tell your spouse or anybody you live with that you won’t be able to answer it.

A single and quick press of a button and problem solved. You will surely not keep pressing the alarm bell at every call as everything is not so important that it will go on from morning till night. If you keep pressing the bell, there is certainly something wrong with your approach, and you are unwilling to reduce your sitting hours. Isn’t it?

Standing desk

The benefits of working at a standing desk are many. You must have seen it in videos and blogs and maybe at a friend’s place. But maybe you have been reluctant to invest in it so far. Now, this is the time. Buy one standing desk and enjoy its many benefits, including minimizing the hours you spend sitting in chair. The freelancers working from home made it famous, then it arrived in some companies, and now remote work has made it a hot thing.

You get to work on your posture. You stand for an hour or so, and that in itself is a physical workout. And maybe the ideas will flow better when you take a new position to work on your computer. It really happens, so do not take it lightly. If you are fond of woodworking, try building a nice coffee table or something and enjoy the physical work.

FAQ – Risks related to sitting too long and ideas to reduce those

How do you manage sitting for long hours?

Sitting for long hours is not good for your physical health and harms your mental health in the long run. Still, in current times, it has become a necessity and is completely unavoidable in many professions and other things like gaming and online education. It can be managed with some innovative ideas mentioned above – using a standing desk, keeping a treadmill for running in the workroom, eating fruits (peeling and cutting them on your own), answering the doorbell, spending time with kids and some other similar ideas.

How many hours a day is it OK to sit? How do I analyze the risks regarding the number of hours I sit?

There is no minimum or maximum sitting time per day. But there have been studies to determine the number of hours a person sits and its side effects on body. Humans are not naturally programmed to sit for long hours. The body remains fit when we regularly exercise or do physical work. Still, sitting is the new norm.

Normal work hours last for 8 to 10 hours in the corporate sector. This is the table that might help you analyze what the minimum and maximum sitting time per day is. This is not as per some scientific study but just a simple idea so that you can keep track of your sitting hours.

  1. Low risk – Below 4 hours sitting in the chair daily regularly

  2. Medium risk - 4 to 8 hours per day

  3. High risk - 8 to 12 hours per day

  4. VERY HIGH RISK – more than 12 hours per day

Is it OK to sit for 10 hours a day?

No. Sitting in chair for more than 8 hours per day means a high risk to your physical and mental health.

Is it OK to sit for 3 hours a day?

Sitting for 3 hours per day in the chair is OK, but you should take small breaks of 5-10 minutes every hour to remain in good shape and reduce health risks posed by continuous sitting.

What are the physical symptoms of sitting too much or too long?

The most common physical symptoms of sitting too long regularly include back pain, shoulder pain, weak legs, secretary spread, weight gain leading to obesity, heart diseases, varicose veins and much more. On the psychological side, it includes anxiety and depression, etc.

How can I reverse the side effects of sitting too long?

It takes time and effort to reverse the side effects of sitting all day. Start working on reducing the sitting time gradually to below 8 hours a day. If your work involves sitting for long hours, do not indulge in anything else that makes you sit again in a chair, like gaming, reading, etc. Start exercising regularly, work on your diet and keep yourself busy with hobbies that involve physical work.

Does sitting increase belly fat and butt fat?

Yes, it does. Sitting is responsible for belly fat and butt fat. It is well-known that the secretary spread results from excessive sitting in office chair.

What is better? To sit or stand all day?

There must be a balance. Both excessive sitting and standing can be attributed to professional requirements. Both have side effects, which lead to physical problems at some stage.

How can I sit for long hours without pain?

Firstly, you should not sit for long hours. You should take regular breaks to move around, stretch, drink water, or eat healthy snacks. With a neck pillow, backrest pillow and using a high-quality ergonomic chair, you might be able to relieve your pain, but it is not suggested to look for measures to make sitting comfortable so that you can sit for excessively long hours. Instead, you should do what has been suggested in previous points – taking breaks, moving around, running on a treadmill, stretching, etc.

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