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How Desk Jobs Are Modern Day Silent Killers

Update Date: Mar 05, 2017 07:37 PM EST

Most people consider jobs involving the maintenance and control of public safety and security, like being a policeman, an army officer, or firefighter to be dangerous. However, numerous studies have already found proof on how desk jobs have become the modern day silent killers.

Desk jobs as the name connote literally involves doing a job, in most cases office work, while an individual sits down on his or her desk. Like most desk jobs, it involves the individual doing most of his or her work sitting down for a nine-to-five work day. But this job, most likely perceived as boring and monotonous is as dangerous as working in the police force or in the military.

However, numerous studies have found proof that too much time spent sitting down is actually bad for people's health. In fact, a recent study contributes more proof with regards to the dangers of too much time sitting down.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Warwick, found that people who have desk jobs are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases and have bigger waist compared to people who do not have desk jobs. In fact, the results of the study just add to the already growing proof of how staying for too long in a sedentary position or positions that involve sitting or lying down, contributes to numerous adverse health effects.

In order to assess the negative effects of having a desk job, the researchers monitored 111 participants working at the Royal Mail of Glasgow, of which 55 have desk jobs and the remaining 55 worked on postal deliveries. The postal workers' activities were monitored using activPAL, an activity and position-monitoring device.

The activPAL devices are strapped to the participants' thighs. In addition, the researchers also monitored the participants' weight, height, and blood pressure. Blood samples were also taken and the results are calculated using the PROCAM risk calculator.

The study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, found that the participants who have desk jobs have a 2.2 percent higher chance of developing cardiovascular disease compared to the participants who worked on postal deliveries. Those who have desk jobs also have bigger waistlines and are most likely to have heavier weight. People with desk jobs were also found to have higher triglycerides and lower levels of good cholesterol.

What's more, the study found that for every additional hour for already sitting for five hours, two centimeters are added to people's waistlines. The risk of developing cardiovascular diseases also increases by 0.2 percent.

Based on previous studies, the researchers found that it is ideal for people to walk at least 15,000 steps per day. This equivalent to walking seven miles a day or staying upright or in a standing position for at least seven hours a day. However, these recommendations are hard to achieve unless fully incorporated in a person's daily life.

The researchers even suggested the escalation of the dangers of a sedentary position or too much time spent sitting or lying down as a public health concern of the modern world.

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