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A panel of British experts are recommending office workers stand for at least two hours a day, as they find problems and dangers with prolonged sitting, according to the Associated Press.

The guidelines were developed by experts invited by Public Health England and an advocacy group and were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Though it is recommended to at least have two hours of standing or light activity, the group also added that they should eventually double that to four hours, the AP reported.

Boiling Springs Family Medicine physician Dr. Chad Jumper talked about the dangers of prolonged sitting and what can be done to offset those problems.

Q: What are the dangers of sitting?

A: “As recent studies have shown, prolonged sitting has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and even premature death. Sitting in a car or plane for a long time can also increase the risk of forming blood clots in the legs.”

Q: What health problems could be exacerbated by sitting?

A: “Some lower back and leg problems can also be exacerbated by prolonged sitting. Breakdown of the skin, called ulcers, can also result from long periods of sitting or laying in one position.”

Q: What are the signs of a blood clot?

A: “Signs of a blood clot can vary depending on location. Clots that stay in the legs can cause swelling, redness and pain. This usually occurs in just one leg. When they move to the lungs, clots can cause shortness of breath, racing heartbeat and chest pain.”

Q: What are some recommendations for people who sit at work?

A: “Standing and walking as much as possible can help reduce the risks mentioned above. For example, standing during phone calls can significantly reduce the time spent sitting during a work day.”

Q: What can people do who are stuck on a plane or train?

A: “When sitting, just moving your legs around and flexing your calf muscles (most simply achieved by raising your feet up and placing weight on your toes) can help. Getting up and walking when allowed further reduces the risks of blood clots.”

Dr. Chad Jumper is a family practice physician at Boiling Springs Family Medicine and is board certified in family medicine. He attended Penn State and completed his residency at Reading Hospital and Medical Center. He is a member of the American Medical Association and the American Association of Family Practice. Check Boiling Springs Family Medicine on Twitter @DrChadJumper and on Facebook. This information is intended for educational purposes. Please consult your health care provider for advice about treatments that may affect your individual health.

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