The aim of this report is to describe the influence of sedentary work on human health and lifestyle. Sedentary work is a widely spread problem of modern humanity. Thus, this question is worth of research. I will clearly show that this influence could be either negative, or positive.
Sedentary work is a work, which does not require any physical activities during the process. The matter does not concern high physical activities. I am talking about primary movements, performed by skeletal muscles and requiring certain energy outlays. On average, work takes about 8 – 12 hours per day; thus, it determines the lifestyle of a particular person materially.
Let us consider the human’s lifestyle as a whole of ways, forms, and conditions of individual and joint vital activity, typical for certain historical and socio-economic conditions of one’s habitation. According to the World Health Organization statute (WHO statute, 1946) “the main determinants of health include the social and economic environment, the physical environment, and the person's individual characteristics and behaviors”. Health is a state of total bodily, mental, and social prosperity, but it is not only absence of illnesses and bodily defects. All these parameters are closely connected to each other, so that human’s health is obviously determined by one’s lifestyle.
According to the WHO, death risk factor of physical inactivity is in the fourth position among the others in the world. Drop in physical activity level is observed all over the world in the countries with high and low level of income. On a global scale, 6% of fatal cases are caused by physical inactivity. In consequence, this factor yields to high blood pressure (13% of fatal cases), and to tobacco smoking (9%) and, it is equal to high level of glucose in the blood (6%).
Under the statistics, 20% of the world population keeps the sedentary lifestyle. It concerns first of all those, who have sedentary work. At that time, many diseases develop and weaken the organism. Legs and back are the first ones to suffer. Thus, a certain damage is caused to the spinal cord, where nerve-endings of all internal organs lead, so that damage extends to all of them. The most typical demonstrations of sedentary work are neck pain, back pain, headache, migraine, piles, kidney diseases, and a wide range of other complications. Widely expanded are illnesses of the musculoskeletal system. Backbone and hip-bone suffer most of all. According to the WHO’s website materials, physical inactivity is consumed to be the main reason for 21–25% of breast and colon cancers, about 27% of diabetes, and near to 30% of ischemic heart disease burden. One of the most harmful consequences of physical inactivity is obesity. According to the WHO’s statistics, obesity all over the world is at the epidemic level. Every year at least 2.8 million people die because of the illnesses caused by extra weight. The fact is that obesity now is a general problem for the countries of high, middle, and low-income. Unfortunately, this problem touches European children: according to the statistics by the WHO (T. Kiaer, 2014), about 30% of 11-13 years old children suffer from extra weight. Because of physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyle, about 5.3 million people die annually.
Nevertheless, sedentary work not always leads to different health injuries. Rather often sedentary work impels a person to spend his or her leisure actively. As usual, such people attend fitness-clubs after work and spend 1 – 1.5 hours there; they prefer hikes rather than fashionable resorts, and use each possibility to get certain physical activity. They understand their own responsibility for their health, and they spend their free time for its good.
In case if a person has a sedentary work and has no possibility to care for physical activity in sports organizations, he or she still can care for health making rather simply efforts to reduce or mineralize damage, caused to health by sedentary work. For example, if a person drives to work by car, it would be useful to park it at 1 km distance from the office; thus, he or she will go by foot a least 2 km every day. It is useful to refuse elevators and go down and up by foot. It is worth to spend about 10 minutes every morning to do some morning exercises. It is important to recognize the utility of every simple physical motion and to make them regular.
Sitting all day the worker can care about his or her health during the working process. It is enough to organize one’s work place correctly: he/she has to look over how the way one seats at the table, to take care about lighting, and about ventilation of the office. This will contribute a lot for health level and will prevent the worker from different diseases appearance.
To conclude, I state that sedentary work in most cases leads to passive lifestyle and harms human’s health. To prevent that everybody has to recognize the responsibility for his/her own health and to protect it from such negative influence.