Sedentary Life Has Many Hazards

sedentary life styleYour Best New Year’s Resolution is to Go For a Walk

The World Health Organization estimates that 3.2 million people worldwide die prematurely each year due to a sedentary lifestyle.  In contrast, an active lifestyle improves one′s general health and decreases the risk of chronic diseases.

Sitting long hours in many typical work scenarios increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic health risks. This sedentary time may have musculoskeletal and/or cognitive impacts on office workers. Sitting (with a relatively low energy expenditure) has the potential to result in a decline of cognitive function over time.  It is known that exercise improves cognitive function.1

Why You Should Avoid Prolonged Sitting

  • Work performance. Prolonged sitting is linked to longer times needed to do a task which results in lower work performance.2
  • Musculoskeletal. Long hours at the computer increase the incidence of neck and upper limb musculoskeletal problems.3
  • Blood clots. Extended sitting increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis.4 These dangerous blood clots develop in the legs and can break loose and fatally lodge in the lungs.5
  • Pain. Prolonged sitting can result in knee and lower back pain, and even increase the risk of osteoporosis.6
  • Cancer. Sedentary occupations are associated with a higher risk of developing some types of cancers, such as colorectal, ovarian, prostate,7  and endometrial cancer.8
  • Metabolism. Prolonged sitting periods are associated with increases in waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), triglyceride levels, and two-hour plasma glucose levels.9
  • Vision. As most of the excess sitting is the result of long hours daily on the computer or smartphones, the effects on vision can include:
    • Glaucoma. An increase in fluctuations in intraocular pressure (related to possible open-angle glaucoma).10
    • Chronic Dry Eyes. Studies have shown that computer users tend to blink less which can lead to excessive dry eyes.11  
    • Macular Degeneration. “Blue light” emitted computers, cell phone display screens, and fluorescent and LED lights can contribute to the onset of macular degeneration. These shorter wavelengths of visible light have high energy and, as a result, high-absorption rates by the retina. As a further consequence, AMD is developing at earlier and earlier ages due to the heavy use of cellphones and other electronic media.12

Lifestyle Recommendations

As modern work-life often requires long hours of sitting and retirement often leads to less activity, there are a number of ways to limit the health side effects:

  1. Try to exercise 5 days a week, including at least 20 minutes per session of some form of aerobic exercise. Don’t forget to stretch afterward.
  2. Take regular breaks every 30 minutes from the computer to stretch. Do some neck and back rolls. Take a nice walk during your lunch break. Even 6 minutes of fast work is good. Retired?  Start your day with a brisk walk, even when it’s raining or snowing.
  3. Take classes such as Yoga or Qigong to learn other modalities to learn to keep energy moving (or unblocked).
  4. East a healthy diet high in vegetables and fruit, particularly berries. Avoid refined carbohydrates and sugar.
  5. Wear 100% UVA/UVB blocking, polarized sunglasses when outside. Amber-colored lenses are the best to neutralize blue light.
  6. Get a blue blocker filter screen for your computer or use blue blocker glasses.
  7. Take regular breaks from the computer and do eye exercises and massage the acupressure points around your eyes. See our free eye exercise e-booklet.

Products to Consider

Tear Stimulation Forte Homeopathic Eyedrops – Great for dry eyes and computer users.

Dr. Grossman’s Meso Plus Retinal Support and Computer Eye Strain Formula with Astaxanthin 90 vcaps

Yoga & Vision Improvement DVD

  1. Olanrewaju O, Stockwell S, Stubbs B, Smith L. (2020). Sedentary behaviors, cognitive function, and possible mechanism in older adults: a systematic review. Aging Clin Exp Res. Jun;32(6):969-984.
  2. Hasegawa T, Inoue K, Tsutsue O, Kumashiro M. (2001). Effects of a sit-stand schedule on a light repetitive task. Int J In. Ergon. 2001;28:219–224.
  3. Gerr F, Marcus M, Ensor C, Kleinbaum D, Cohen S, et al. (2002). A prospective study of computer users: I. Study design and incidence of musculoskeletal symptoms and disorders. Am J Ind Med. Apr; 41(4):221-35.
  4. Wedro BM, FACEP, FAAEM. (2021) Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT, Blood Clot in the Legs). MedicineNet.
  5. Waheed SM, Kudaravalli P, Hotwagner DT. (2021). Deep Vein Thrombosis. StatPearls.
  6. Katella K. (2019). Why is Sitting so Bad for Us? Retrieved Dec 28 2021 from
  7. Simons CC, Hughes LA, van Engeland M, Goldbohm RA, van den Brandt PA, et al. (2013). Physical activity, occupational sitting time, and colorectal cancer risk in the Netherlands cohort study.  Am J Epidemiol. Mar 15;177(6):514-30.
  8. Friedenreich CM, Cook LS, Magliocco AM, Duggan MA, Courneya KS. (2010). Case-control study of lifetime total physical activity and endometrial cancer risk.  Cancer Causes Control. Jul; 21(7):1105-16.
  9. Healy GN, Dunstan DW, Salmon J, Cerin E, Shaw JE. (2008). Breaks in sedentary time: beneficial associations with metabolic risk. Diabetes Care. 2008 Apr; 31(4):661-6.
  10. Ha A, Kim YK, Park YJ, Jeoung JW, Park KH. (2018). Intraocular pressure change during reading or writing on smartphone. PLoS One. 2018; 13(10): e0206061.
  11. Mehra D, Divy G, Anat MD. (2020). Digital Screen Use and Dry Eye: A Review. Asia-Pac J Ophthal. Nov-Dec; 9(6):491-497.
  12. Mendelsohn. (2018). Macular degeneration is occurring earlier and the culprit may surprise you. Ophthal Times. Mar 18. Retrieved Dec 28 2021 from