I have read several articles on how sitting all day is bad for your health. It can increase your risk for heart disease, decrease overall health, and lead to death at an earlier age, even if people who sit all day exercise. This is unfortunate news for the huge number of Americans who spend their days chained to a desk, but the negative health impact extends to riding in the car, or sitting on the couch watching television. And now, the news has gotten even worse. For women, sitting for nine hours a day or more results in an increased risk for depression (47% higher!) when compared to those who sat down less than six hours daily. Scientists chalk it up to lower circulation that decreases the movement of feel-good hormones to the brain to boost mood.
However, the effect may be temporary. When women started moving again, they were able to shake the depressive symptoms, indicating that sitting only brings down mood in the present. Additionally, the researchers believe that regular exercise after sitting periods can help to prevent potential future depression. While there is no way to reverse the poor health effects of sitting, making a point to get up and walk around every 20 minutes can help make them less severe. Now there’s an excuse to go say hi to your coworker on the other side of the office!