Researchers have found that a sedentary life could be just as dangerous, if not more so, than smoking. People who work in sedentary jobs for 10 or more years double their risk of bowel cancer and are more likely to develop heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Dr. San Tso, DO, an osteopathic family physician from Stockton, CA details the full impact of a sedentary lifestyle on your well-being and provides tips to prevent health problems so you can live a longer, healthier life.
“Extended periods of sitting, typically at work, can affect every part of your being,” says Dr. Tso. “When you sit for long stretches of time, your body stops working as effectively as it can. The more regular this routine, the higher the risk of developing health problems that are detrimental to your overall health,” she explains. The list of potential health problems resulting from a sedentary work life range from mental to physical and can last for several years.
A sedentary lifestyle can cause many health problems, including:
To reduce your risk factor for multiple health problems, Dr. Tso encourages people to adopt healthier routines. “It doesn’t take much to improve your health. A minimum of 10 minutes of moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise is enough to get your heart pumping and burn calories,” explains Dr. Tso. She suggests physical activities such as:
“Healthy eating and exercise are the best antidotes for a sedentary lifestyle,” says Dr. Tso. “Commit to healthy choices and your body will thank you for it.”
The average office worker is at a higher risk of early mortality due to prolonged periods of sitting at a desk. “Exchanging unhealthy meals for healthier options and adding physical activities to your workday can change your prognosis,” says Dr. Tso. “The road to a healthier lifestyle is paved with good choices. How you treat your body today sets the tone for your long-term health.”
Preventive medicine is just one aspect of care osteopathic physicians provide. DOs are fully licensed to prescribe medicine and practice in all specialty areas, including surgery. DOs are trained to consider the health of the whole person and use their hands to help diagnose and treat their patients.