We all know that staying active is essential to a healthy lifestyle. But what most of us probably aren’t aware of is that no matter how active you are, those lengthy periods of sedentary time in between can still be detrimental to your health—in the long run, of course.
Recent research on the effects of prolonged sitting has revealed that sweating it out in the gym a few times a week may not be enough to counteract hours of sitting at a desk, which can put you at risk of serious health problems. Experts say that taking movement breaks every 30 minutes (or even more frequently, if you can manage it) is actually better for your health than doing one hour of hardcore activity per day.
People with desk jobs are typically at greater risk of developing health issues related to excessive sedentary time. After all, an office environment is rarely conducive for maintaining a constant stream of activity throughout the day. Some have taken to using “standing” desks to avoid sitting altogether, but this has proven to be an inadequate solution to the problem due to the fact that movement is still minimal.
Due to this, the health and fitness industry has seen an influx of innovative exercise equipment designed to meet the unique needs of people who work office jobs—meaning they can be used even while sitting at a desk.
Desk exercise equipment allow office employees to be more active and offset the negative physical effects of sitting for hours at a time. Of course, not all of them are created the same. Each offers different sets of health benefits—both physically and mentally in some cases—for the user.
The human body is constantly burning calories—even during idle moments. Using almost any type of exercise equipment that lets you engage in some level of activity while sitting helps you burn nearly twice (or possibly even thrice) the amount of calories. According to an article from LIVESTRONG.com, the average 150-pound person burns around 68 calories per hour while sitting motionless, and about 102 calories while sitting and talking or while doing light work. Moderate activity, even while sitting, can burn up to 170 calories per hour.
If you're looking to burn more calories while sitting, having the option to exercise at your desk is key.
Younger people may not care about joint health, but it is never too early to start making small but significant lifestyle changes that can greatly help reduce the risk of debilitating joint conditions later in life. Proper diet and exercise can help us maintain the health of our joints, but if you are unable to get in a workout every day, doing some low impact exercise or movement while at work should suffice.
Aside from the joints, the body’s muscles can also benefit from continuous daily movement. Too much inactivity can weaken the muscles over time, which is bad news for anyone who has to sit at a desk for over eight hours a day. Doing some desk exercises, no matter how minimal, allows you to engage in dynamic movements that keep your muscles in use throughout the day.
The National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) recommends at least 60 minutes of regular physical activity—in at least 10-minute increments throughout the day—to help prevent muscle atrophy and ensure peak muscle health.
The circulatory system is responsible for distributing oxygen and nutrients to all cells in the body, and ensuring that it performs at its best is essential to your overall health and wellbeing. Sitting too much without added movement can result in poor circulation, which not only leads to health issues such as swelling and blood clots, but also makes you less effective (both physically and mentally) in your daily tasks.
Desk exercise benefits you by allowing you to make the best out of an inflexible situation. There’s nothing like a good workout to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing, but when you’re stuck in the office, having equipment that allows you to do some light to moderate desk exercises can be the next best thing.
Stress is an inevitable part of life—whether you’re working a desk job or going to school.
Most experts say that incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine is essential to managing stress. This is because physical activity encourages the body to release endorphins or “feel good” hormones, which can help relieve pain and alleviate stress.
Doing a few desk exercises throughout your work day is a great way to keep stress and anxiety at bay. It may not be as strenuous as a gym workout, but you should still be able to get the same stress reducing effects with continued “inactive” exercise using dedicated desk exercise equipment.
Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which makes you feel more energized and alert. This usually results in improved focus and concentration, allowing you to be more productive at work or in school. This is particularly true after a good workout session, but it can also be true with any light to moderate activity that you can achieve with certain types of desk exercise equipment.
For some people, however, doing desk exercises while working can often be distracting as it normally takes some amount of mental effort to consciously perform the exercises. Due to this, leg swings like the SitFlow—which was specially designed and developed to encourage unconscious movement—are often preferable to other types of desk exercise equipment. Thanks to its innovative, well-researched design, users can spend hours doing sitting exercises with their SitFlow leg swing without getting distracted from tasks that require supreme focus and mental clarity.
Some people, particularly those diagnosed with ADHD or neurological conditions such as Restless Legs Syndrome, often have plenty of restless energy that they are unable to release due to the nature of their daily activities. With all that pent-up energy, desk workers will often find it difficult to concentrate on their work, while children in school will likely find it hard to pay attention in class or control their hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
Using desk exercise tools provides these types of users with a healthy outlet for releasing their restless energy. But of course in this case, it is still crucial to choose a type of desk exercise equipment that will not make them even more distracted than they already are.
Physical activity has also been proven to help improve sleep quality, but not everyone has the time and stamina for full-blown daily workouts. Fortunately, even light physical activities—such as stretching and going on short walks—can help people sleep more soundly at night. With continued use of the right desk exercise equipment, people who are normally stuck to their desks every day can engage in enough physical activity to help promote better sleep quality and healthier sleeping habits.
Desk exercise tools have truly changed—and improved—the way people incorporate movement into their normally sedentary lifestyles. Through these modern innovations, people can reap the health benefits of regular movement even while working at their desks or sitting through lectures in school. It’s important, however, to ensure that you choose the right one for your needs—ideally one that offers you all the benefits mentioned above.
The SitFlow desk swing is a unique sitting exercise tool that allows users to achieve the recommended amount of physical activity per day with zero mental distractions, enabling them to multitask their way to a much healthier life.
Backed by extensive research and validated by rigorous testing and medical studies at the University of Illinois and Tokai University in Japan, the SitFlow is perfectly optimized for the needs of office employees, and pretty much anyone who regularly spends an unhealthy amount of time sitting at a desk.
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