Sitting is the new smoking.

Sitting for long periods of time increases pressure on your spinal disks, slows your metabolism, and leads to poor blood flow that can eventually result in cervical stiffness, an arched back, depression, bone deformities, spondylosis, and worse.

Sitting can also change how you feel mentally. The more sedentary your lifestyle, the higher the chances that you will feel anxious or depressed. Even if you've built an ergonomic workplace, sitting down will produce negative effects in the long run.

But you probably work on the computer for a living and have little choice but to spend many hours sitting down. So what can you do?

The answer is simple: Move your body for five minutes for every hour that you sit down. Any sort of movement works, but if you want the best returns on your time, try yoga.

Yoga is an ancient practice that originated in India over five thousand years ago. The word comes from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means "to unite or integrate". Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines breathwork, meditation, and physical poses to achieve balance and harmony in both your body and mind.

Because yoga helps improve flexibility, balance, and strength, it's a great way to build a healthy connection between your mind and your body. Yoga improves your blood circulation, your ability to breathe deeply, and it can help with digestion.

With focused and concentrated breathwork, yoga can quiet your mind and create a feeling of peace and relaxation. It also helps regulate emotions and can help those who suffer from depression, anxiety, or ADHD. On top of that, it helps people connect with their inner selves.

A societal benefit of yoga is that it lowers healthcare costs because it reduces the need for pharmaceutical products. A study published by PLOS ONE has shown that the people who practiced yoga had lower healthcare costs than those who didn't.

Where to Start?

I recommend starting with five dedicated minutes of yoga for every hour you sit. Begin wherever you like, even if it's just moving and breathing. But here are some good starter options:

One of the great things about yoga is that it can be tailored to fit your individual needs. If you're not very active, you can start with gentle poses that don't put too much stress on the body. Once you get more comfortable, you can increase the intensity of the poses. Of course, if you have any health concerns, speak to a medical professional before starting a yoga routine.

A sedentary lifestyle can wreak havoc on your health, but yoga is the perfect antidote. It improves the health of your body and your mind and reduces healthcare costs. If you're looking for a way to improve your overall health, happiness, and well-being, yoga is the way to go.