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Health Risks of Sitting - Cubicle Issues and Solutions

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WEIGHT GAIN

Sixty-one percent of Americans snack at their desks, which adds up to plenty of extra calories.

Prevention: Preparation is key, according to Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokeswoman Angela Meadow, who says a balanced lunch will help that 3 p.m. blood-sugar dive. Good options are broth-based soups with a side salad and fruit or a Healthy Choice frozen meal with added green vegetables.

Solution: It takes about 20 minutes for your body to realize it's full, so if you feel hungry, get up and move around, drink water, or chew sugar-free gum to see if it goes away. To keep blood sugar stable, stock up on healthy snacks, like nuts and yogurt.

DRY EYES

Because more women fill clerical jobs, Dr. Jeffrey R. Anshel of Corporate Vision Consulting says they tend to suffer an increase in eyestrain. "Your eyes are not designed to keep focusing and moving repetitively across a computer screen," he says.

Prevention: Practice the "20-20-20 rule." When your eyes are focused on an object in the distance, they're meeting optical infinity, in which eyes are totally at rest. For 20 seconds every 20 minutes, take a break and look 20 feet away.

Solution: Lowering computer monitors can relieve eyes from straining to get a close look. Also, blink more. People under normal conditions blink 12 to 15 times a minute, but those reading on a computer blink only seven times.

VARICOSE VEINS

Sitting for an extended period of time can increase chances of developing varicose or spider veins — conditions that affect about 50 percent of women.

Prevention: Tights with a high amount of Lycra can compress the legs, boosting circulation and calming symptoms.

Solution: Laser procedures may help, but can be painful. Instead, try Asclera, a form of sclerotherapy, where a soap-like solution is injected into the veins via tiny needles the size of a strand of hair. One injection can treat an entire patch of veins with minimal pain.

 

Originally published on Oct. 5, 2012

 

Related content at marieclaire.com

 

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