High BP Working From Home

In modern society, sitting is a part of life. Whether working from home (WFH), at an office job, while watching a favorite show, or during a long commute, most people sit more than stand. Although periods of rest are important, too much sitting can lead to a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting disease can increase the risk for health problems like high blood pressure (BP), obesity, and high blood sugar.


Take a seat

Since 1950, sedentary jobs have increased by 83%, putting many workers at risk of sitting disease. The typical worker now spends more than half the day sitting. Getting enough physical activity is essential for overall health, but for many people, finding the time to work out or even take a quick walk during a lunch break is difficult. While challenging to squeeze in, research shows that just 1 hour of exercise a day can counteract the effects of prolonged sitting.

When BP is too high

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is when the force of the blood flowing through the vessels is consistently too high. A BP reading of less than 120/80 is normal, while 130-139/80-89 is considered high. Risks for developing high BP include family history, race, age, alcohol and tobacco use, diet, obesity, and stress. Certain chronic conditions, such as kidney disease and diabetes, can also increase the risk of high blood pressure. Last but not least, too much sitting has also been shown to increase BP readings.

Explaining the science

How does too much sitting increase blood pressure? The answer isn’t exactly straightforward, but instead thought to be a culmination of different reasons. When people spend 8 hours a day stuck at a desk, physical activity decreases significantly. Continuous sitting might also be associated with other unhealthy behaviors, such as mindless snacking or drinking. Sitting also affects the body’s hormone levels and the immune system, negatively affecting health. Too much sitting can lead to obesity, an independent risk factor for high blood pressure.

Get moving

The solution to the sitting problem is quite simple. Get moving. People who are completely sedentary can start by taking small breaks throughout the day to stand and stretch. Then, move on to a walk around the office or home to get the blood flowing. Take the stairs when possible. Eventually, try to work in an actual workout during the day. Although change won’t happen overnight, any added movement is beneficial for health.

Counteracting sitting disease

Too much sitting is a problem many people experience. However, incorporating a little movement into the day can decrease health risks significantly. High blood pressure can reduce blood and oxygen flow to the heart, so the condition must be managed. Decreasing BP readings by moving more than sitting is the goal of staying healthy.