A sedentary lifestyle is the quickest route to chronic illness. People tied to their desks at work are the most at risk of developing lifestyle diseases, a consequence of sitting for extended hours.

Several studies conducted over the past few years have found clear correlations between the habit of sitting for long hours and several health problems.

Weight gain is the most visible effect of a sedentary lifestyle with the extra kilos sneaking up on the body. In a sitting position, the human body’s calorie-burning rate can drop to just one per minute. The best way to start burning up the calories is to stand up, take the stairs, go for a quick walk, or make any other movement that activates the dormant muscles.

Belly fat is another dangerous consequence of a sedentary lifestyle that can greatly increase the chance of heart disease. Fat cells in the body serve the purpose of storing energy and secreting hormones that regulate blood sugar levels. Overweight people have larger fat cells, which can shut down, making insulin production difficult. Scientifically known as visceral cells, fat cells can also lead to inflammation and artery clogging, resulting in high blood pressure and even heart attacks.

People with belly fat are also at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, liver failure and even sleep apnea. A study performed by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found a correlation between belly fat and the development of certain kinds of cancers.

The dangerous consequences of extended sitting cannot be counterbalanced with a few hours at the gym. While it’s good to observe Australians are switching to healthy eating and regular exercise, the habit of sitting at the workplace continues to cancel out any benefit they may have gained otherwise from eating healthy and exercising well.

A recent study of July 2014 has found that for every hour of sitting, the person negates eight per cent of the health benefits of exercising. However, even standing non-stop for the same amount of time has similar detrimental effects.

The right way to work is to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the eight hours at the office, which helps to eliminate the nasty consequences of a sedentary lifestyle.

Ergomotion suggests a few tips to remain active and productive throughout the day.

Move your muscles.

You can exercise your legs even when working in a sitting position. Raise your legs to a height where the calves are parallel to the ground and the feet are pointing up. Hold the position for 30 seconds and slowly lower them, rest for a moment, and repeat the exercise at least 8-10 times. Do the exercise throughout the day.

Take the stairs instead of the escalator or lift. A brisk five-minute walk a couple of times a day will re-energise you, while drinking more water will not only hydrate you but also encourage you to step away from the desk to go to the bathroom.

Take regular breaks.

Taking short breaks from working in a sitting position is a great way to refresh yourself instantly and lower risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes in the long term.

Walk around the office building or run up and down the stairs a couple of times. Do it a few times throughout the day and beat the challenges of a sedentary desk job.

Switch to a standing desk.

If taking a break is difficult, a height adjustable standing desk gives the ultimate freedom to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the workday. Switch between sitting and standing positions every half-hour or on the hour.

Commonly known as standing desks, Ergomotion’s height adjustable desks are motorised, ensuring quiet operation with just a push of a button. The ideal standing and sitting heights can be programmed for easy recall. The height adjustable desks are completely level and stable, eliminating any worry about objects tipping over.

Ergonomic office furniture is an important component of a harmonious, healthy office. This article drives home the message about how the long term consequences of prolonged sitting can be minimised with the benefits delivered by a standing desk at the workplace.