Sanctuary Wellness Institute
Close this search box.

Health Tips for People Who Sit All Day

Health Tips for People Who Sit All Day
Table of Contents

In today’s fast-paced world, many of us find ourselves tethered to our desks. Unfortunately, long periods of sitting can seriously detract from your health, contributing to everything from back pain to more serious conditions.

In this article, we’ll dissect the challenges faced by those who spend most of the day seated and offer some practical strategies you can use to improve your well-being, boost your energy levels, and mitigate the adverse effects of sitting. Whether you’re an office worker, a freelance professional, or simply curious about how sitting affects your body, these insights will empower you to make more informed decisions.

How Many Hours of Sitting Is Unhealthy?

Research indicates that sitting for more than eight hours a day with little to no physical activity increases your risk of conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Health experts recommend breaking up long periods of sitting by standing or walking for a few minutes every hour.

Engaging in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week is another way to counteract the effects of a sedentary lifestyle.

What Happens to Your Body if You Sit All Day Every Day?

Sitting for most of the day can have many adverse effects on the body, both in the short-term and the long-term. Initially, you may notice reduced mobility and an increase in stiffness, particularly in your hips and lower back. Over time, chronic sitters also tend to experience weight gain since they aren’t burning many calories.

The posture associated with prolonged sitting can also contribute to weakened abdominal muscles and strain in the neck and shoulders. Furthermore, extensive sitting has been linked to increased odds of developing heart disease, diabetes, deep vein thrombosis, anxiety, depression, and cancer.

Can You Die from Sitting Too Long?

Research has demonstrated that even if you exercise regularly, excessive sitting is a risk factor for early death. Researchers have not settled on a definitive reason as to why, but studies have linked excessive sitting to conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.

How Do You Take Care of Your Body When You Sit All Day?

How Do You Take Care of Your Body When You Sit All Day?

Caring for your body when you’re bound to a chair for the majority of the day involves a mix of posture, movement, and environmental adjustments. Some of the best strategies you can use include:

  • Maintain Good Posture: Keep your back straight with your shoulders pulled back and relaxed. Your feet should be flat on the floor, and your knees should be at a 90-degree angle.
  • Take Regular Breaks: Aim to stand up or take a brief walk every 30 minutes to boost circulation and relieve muscle tension.
  • Stretch Regularly: Incorporate stretching into your daily routine, focusing on the neck, shoulders, back, and legs to reduce stiffness and improve flexibility.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water throughout the day will help you focus and maintain high energy levels.
  • Optimize Your Workspace: Ensure that your workstation is ergonomically arranged. Your computer screen should be at eye level, and your keyboard should allow your arms to rest comfortably.
  • Exercise Regularly: Engage in regular physical activity outside of work to counteract the effects of prolonged sitting.

What Is the Best Exercise for Someone Who Sits All Day?

The single best exercise for individuals who sit all day is a toss-up between dynamic stretches and strength training that focuses on the core and lower back. Dynamic stretches like spinal twists and shoulder shrugs increase flexibility and blood flow, preventing stiffness and boosting energy.

Strength exercises like planks, squats, and lunges strengthen the core and lower back, supporting good posture and reducing your risk of chronic pain. Integrating these exercises into your daily routine can help you combat the negative effects of your sedentary lifestyle.

Tips to Avoid Sitting Down All Day

Here are a few practical tips to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting each day:

  • Set a Timer: Use a timer to remind yourself to stand up and move every 30 minutes. Even short breaks can significantly reduce the health risks associated with prolonged sitting.
  • Get a Standing Desk: Invest in an adjustable standing desk. Alternating between sitting and standing throughout the day can help you maintain your energy levels and reduce the strain on your back.
  • Take Walking Meetings: When possible, engage in “walking meetings” rather than sitting in a conference room. These kinds of meetings promote creativity and better health.
  • Use the Stairs: Opt for the stairs instead of the elevator for short climbs. This is an excellent way to sneak in some exercise during your workday.
  • Lunch Break Walks: Use part of your lunch break to take a walk outside. A change of scenery and fresh air can be rejuvenating and help you stay active.
  • Desk Exercises: Perform simple stretching or muscle-strengthening exercises at your desk, such as leg lifts or chair squats.


In the modern workspace, where sitting for prolonged periods has become the norm, it’s more important than ever to be mindful of the effects of a sedentary lifestyle. The evidence is clear: long hours of sitting contribute to a range of health issues that can reduce your quality of life and longevity. Fortunately, using the strategies outlined above, you can safeguard your health.

If you’re interested in taking additional steps to optimize your health and well-being, the Sanctuary Wellness Institute can help. Namely, we can connect you with an online health and wellness coach who’ll design a personalized plan to help you improve everything from your diet and exercise regimen to your sleep and stress management.

Contact us today to learn more about how a health and wellness coach could empower you.

How we reviewed this article: