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In recent years, public health officials have tried to raise awareness about the negative effects of a common daily activity: sitting.
Although sitting can be helpful for resting and maintaining the body, sitting for long periods of time with limited physical activity reduces energy expenditure and cardiovascular fitness, which contributes to a number of adverse health conditions. Sitting can increase the risk of obesity, blood clots, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol. It can also increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. This affected posture, stiffens joints and helps with tightness and tension in the back, hamstrings and hips. With this long list of potential health consequences, some medical professionals argue that “sitting is the new smoking.”
One of the reasons that sitting has received increased attention as a public health issue is that people are spending more time sitting at work. Until the mid-20th century, much of the economy in the United States centered on jobs in fields like manufacturing and agriculture that required workers to stand and engage in other activities. physical. Increasingly, however, the modern economy is emphasizing office jobs that are more sedentary in nature. This trend has only accelerated with the adoption of technologies (telephones and fax machines, computers and the Internet) that allow workers to perform more tasks and communicate with colleagues or clients from their desks. Today there is 83% more sedentary jobs in the United States than there were in 1950.
Despite this trend, jobs that require continuous standing remain more common than jobs that require continuous sitting. According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*NET. Many standing occupations are concentrated in fields such as catering and construction, while the most common seated occupations include occupations such as receptionists and medical secretaries, jobs in office industries such as finance, insurance and law, and fast-growing areas. such as market research and computer and information systems.