Working all day and feeling sluggish? Here’s the real reason why! 8 months ago

Working all day and feeling sluggish? Here’s the real reason why!

Brought to you by the Irish Heart Foundation. 

We've ALL had those days.

We got our recommended eight hours sleep, we've been eating well, we walked to work and we're feeling fabulous. Two hours in - we're officially DONE.

Now, before you think, 'Well I'm not so fond of the job to begin with,' or 'I don't like working with Linda,' or any of those kinds of excuses, there's one MAJOR element of our working day that makes us feel SO sluggish.

It's because most of us are sitting for an average of seven and a half hours each day. When you think about it - it's absolute MADNESS. The human body is NOT by any means, made to sit for lengthy periods. Our body loathes the experience. We become weak when we should be running, jumping, climbing and continuing to get strong - pushing our muscles, heart and lungs to work as hard as they can.

Here in Ireland, we spend about half of our waking hours sitting down and new research from the UK has shown that this sedentary behaviour is associated with a 147 percent increase in the risk of heart disease and stroke. Possibly even more concerning is the increasing evidence that exercise may not entirely counteract the negative effects of sitting for hours.

So even when we head to the gym in the evening after work - it's undoubtedly fantastic, so keep it up! - but our body is still suffering from sitting so much. When we sit, the oxygen in our blood isn't moving around our body as much. It’s not getting to our brain or muscles, hence the sluggish feeling. There are enzymes in our blood too that help clear out fat from our body, but this process is less effective when we’re sitting.

Our heart is a muscle too and when we’re sitting down it’s not getting a workout at all. (Yikes.)

So wherever you work - encourage movement throughout the day. Get up often to grab water or tea. Encourage standing desks, go for a walk at lunch, spend the evening moving rather than sitting down on the couch.

The Irish Heart Foundation has developed a super simple online sitting calculator  as part of its new Chairs Can Kill campaign. The calculator allows us to see exactly how long we spend sitting down on an average day, and gives individualised feedback and top tips on how we can reduce the time we spend sedentary.

The moral of the story is, if we want to quite literally energise our life, we have to get up, stand up, walk, run, move, stretch, jump, play, jog - whatever we do - just keep away from that chair!

Brought to you by the Irish Heart Foundation.