About four years ago my mother decided to go back to work. Before going back to work, she was very active. She would run a number of errands around our town, walk our dog at least once a day, and play tennis with friends a few times a week. However; my mother decided to go back to work where she’d be re-entering corporate Wall Street America. Being so, she would be sitting at a desk for a number of hours. After a few months, my mother began to believe she was gaining weight – which is strange because my mother has always been very skinny. Could her sitting at a desk for numerous hours a day cause her to be gaining weight? I decided to look up to possibilities. The Null Hypothesis would be that sitting at a hypothesis does not effect weight, while the Alternative Hypothesis would be that sitting at a desk does effect weight gain.
According to US Today, 2 in 5 people reported that they have gained weight while working at their current job. Career Builders conducted a study to determine if one’s job was causing them to gain weight. A survey showed that about 55% of workers considered themselves overweight, while 41% of workers explained that they have gained weight at their current job. According to the survey, that involved about 3,600 workers reported between February 11th to March 6th, those who worked at a desk had a higher chance of gaining weight – a total of 56% people they studied gained weight because of sitting at a desk. This would conclude that sitting at a desk does effect weight gain, causing the Alternative Hypothesis to be correct.
But, why do people who sit at desk during work tend to gain more weight? According to Dr. Mercola, our bodies are supposed to be actively moving; however, the average american adult sits between 9 to 10 hours a day. Those who are sitting for the majority of the day tend to not be getting active and the calories they are consuming are not being burned off. When you sit for too long, your heart is not pumping the blood as fast and your muscles are not burning as much fat off. A study conducted at The University of Texas Arlington supports that those who sit during the day are at a disadvantage of those who are active throughout the day. According to Darla Hamann and four of her other colleagues, they studied a non-profit financial service group for a course of 52 weeks. The workers in the study traded in their sitting desks for a new treadmill working station – so when they worked they could walk on the treadmill. The workers could sit or leave the station whenever they pleased throughout the study. After 52 weeks, workers lost on average 74 more calories than they did without the treadmills. This may not seem like a lot of calories, but compared to gaining calories it is a win. This study helps explain that by just sitting around you are gaining weight by not doing anything like the workers did before; however, when they switched to the treadmills they were no longer gaining weight, but in fact losing weight too.
Now that it is proven that sitting at a desk for hours causes you to gain weight, how can one prevent it from happening to them? Since the study I explained above worked so well, one could change their sitting desk into a treadmill desk. That option may be the best; however, it can be very costly. According to Health, changing what foods you bring in for lunch. For example, instead of bringing in that leftover Chinese food, try bringing a salad with some fruit on the side. Another idea Health explains, is trying to get up and walk for a little bit to get your muscles moving. The small, healthier options you make at work can change a lot in your life as a whole.
Although weight can be one effect from sitting at a desk all day, Dr. Mercola explains other health problems that occur if you do not get up and get active throughout your day at work. According to Dr. Mercola, your pancreas can be highly effected by sitting throughout the day. By sitting, your pancreas is producing a high amount of insulin, which could result in some form of diabetes. Sitting for long periods of times can also cause posture problems in your neck and your back because you can be straining your vertebrae.
There are so many negative correlations with sitting for a long period of time, that all in all one should definitely get up and walk around for a little. Weight gain is a serious problem especially in those who work long hours at a desk everyday. Sitting at desks do indeed cause weight gain and as I discovered even more health problems. Hopefully more people will be able to learn from this in order to reduce weight gain in the work field.