How do you spend your daily life? Perhaps you work from or in the office while sitting all day typing away countless data sheets, or you may also be a student who studies diligently in front of your desk. In your leisure time, you most probably spend your day sitting on the couch while watching the TV, enjoying other devices, or playing games.

If sitting all day is your everyday reality, you may get a bit drowsy or feel a severe ache in your back. However, aside from the physical pain, sitting all day is also harming your mental health. So, Grey Matters of Carmel is here with why you shouldn’t be sitting all day and how doing so can play a role in your overall mental state.

What is a Sedentary Lifestyle?

A sedentary lifestyle includes a series of practices that only involve lying or sitting. In other words, it is a very inactive lifestyle with little to no exercise. Prolonged periods of sedentary patterns can seriously affect your back and spine and even increase your blood pressure. However, as much as it affects your physical health, being inactive all day, for instance, sitting all day, can also cause mental illness.

Man seems depressed

Why Sitting All Day is Harming Your Mental Health

Aside from physical disorders, long hours of sitting also have negative effects on your mental health. Due to inactivity, you can experience a series of emotional pain, feelings of stress, and other mental health conditions. Prolonged periods of inactivity, for instance, sitting all day, may result in difficult times.

Depressive Disorders

Studies show that among primary and secondary patients, the different symptoms of depression were associated with lower levels of physical activity. Another study found that people with a low frequency of vigorous physical activities are correlated to those diagnosed with depression. These findings mean that long periods of inactivity may cause a severe medical illness affecting your thoughts and feelings.

From lacking self-esteem to losing interest in other activities, depression changes how you perceive the world. It may affect your emotional health and have severe feelings of sadness and other negative emotions. You may also experience difficulty concentrating and lack energy. This shows how sitting for prolonged hours may impact your mental health.

Anxiety Disorders

Whenever you face a stressful situation, you become anxious about the possible outcome or the next thing that might possibly happen. However, anxiety is different from the feeling of being anxious or nervous. Although it is identified that genetic, psychological, environmental, and developmental factors cause these types of disorders, studies show that lack of physical movement for an extended period can also cause anxiety.

Due to inactivity, people tend to have fewer physical interactions with others. They trap themselves in a box and retreat away from society. This is known as social withdrawal. Although it may also be a symptom, sitting still in one place for a long time prevents social interactions and can cause anxiety disorders in individuals. Thus, a lack of physical interactions due to inactivity can cause anxiety disorders and even depression.

Importance of Active Lifestyle to Mental Health

Indulging in different physical activities can improve the quality of life. Aside from benefiting your physical health, it also strengthens your mental state. Different chemicals in the human brain are released whenever you perform physical activities.

Specifically, when you begin to exercise or move, neurotransmitters like endorphins, known to block pain, and dopamine, often called the happy hormone, are released. Besides physical health, it is essential to maintain your mental health.

Woman GYM workout

Ways to Avoid Negative Impacts of Sitting All Day

When your doctor says you have to maintain an active and healthy life, it does not mean you must perform extensive workouts for hours. Aside from going to the gym, there are other ways to stay active and avoid long hours of continuous sitting. Here are some effective suggestions to incorporate into your daily routine and avoid the negative effects of sitting all day.

Incorporate Standing Sessions

When you are focused on a task slumped on a computer, you probably forget that you have not stood up once ever since you were seated. Suddenly you feel an aching sensation below your back. This is the reason why it is essential to stand up from time to time. If you are too caught up with whatever you are doing, you may set the alarm every 30 to 45 minutes.

If you work remotely, set up 5-minute breaks and tidy up your room or stretch. Meanwhile, while watching videos on your phone, you may also stand up or dance a little to the music. A few minutes of standing sessions will not hurt a little, in fact, it is far way better for your back and your brain.

Invest in a Standing Desk

Shoulders haunched as you type away, a standing desk is an excellent option for you. Standing desks have grown in popularity among workers and offices throughout the years. Aside from being the perfect option to avoid sitting down all day while working or studying, ergonomic standing desks also prevent knee and leg strain, help you fix your posture, and reduce back pain. Moreover, it lets you get on your feet and boost your mood while working. Investing in standing desks has a huge impact on your health and energy.

Establish a Workout Routine

A healthy lifestyle is a balanced lifestyle. To further maintain an active life, try establishing a workout routine. Aside from it caters to your physical health, exercising also helps your heart pump faster and increases the oxygen supply to your brain. Through this, your memory works better, and you develop flexible thinking.

Regular exercise also helps relieve stress, boost mental clarity, and improve a better mood. If you are someone who procrastinates working out, then now is your time to start doing it finally. You can even grab a friend and attend a workout session together or do 5 to 10-minute workouts in the comfort of your home.

Maintain a Good Mental Health with Grey Matters

Healthy well-being equates to an overall healthy lifestyle, and a healthy life requires good mental health. Sometimes we often overlook simple actions that may affect our mental state. For instance, we fail to realize how our practice of sitting all day is harming our mental health.

At Grey Matters of Carmel, we prioritize the well-being of your mental health. Through our neurofeedback training, together, we will fight against all mental battles for a better brain and a better you. Schedule your consultation now!

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