How Sitting Reduces Health Potential
We spend, on average, almost nine hours a day sitting down – and that’s not considering the eight hours we spend lying down, asleep.
You might be sitting there thinking ‘not me’, but when you break your day down into time spent commuting, sitting at work, commuting back home again, and sitting down to binge-watch Netflix on an evening, it’s easy to see just how much we sit. Our bodies aren’t designed for such lazy living, they’re designed to move.
Here are just some of the effects that an overall sedentary lifestyle can have on the body:
Back, Neck and Shoulders
Sitting for a while often results in falling into a slouched position (even if slightly). This position, over time, causes strain on the back and shoulder muscles. This is due to it being stretched to accommodate a posture that is not ideal. If you are sitting in front of a computer, the body tends to put the neck forward, which causes additional strain on both the neck and the shoulders. If not corrected, or monitored, this can cause wear and tear on the discs and joints, causing your spine ligaments to get annoyed.
Legs and Hips
Sitting causes hip flexor muscles to shorten, which translates to problems in the hip joints. Furthermore, sitting for long periods leads to poor circulation, which can cause swelling of ankles, varicose veins, and even deep vein thrombosis.
Heart and Cardiovascular System
Our cardiovascular system works better standing up than sitting. Let’s face it, the longer we are sitting, the less we are being active. Activity is what keeps the blood pumping and the heart muscles strong. There are a lot of research supporting claims that a sedentary lifestyle is associated with increased risk of heart disease.
Lungs, Brain, Digestive Health
Many of the functions of the body rely on oxygen. The more we move, the more oxygen we generally take in. Our brain, lungs, and digestive system all rely on getting enough oxygen and movement. Movement also is associated with peristalsis, which is the movement of food through the digestive tract. Better peristalsis means an overall better metabolism.
Overall, spending too much time sitting and not engaging in physical movement, standing or activity, does have a very negative impact on overall health and wellbeing. It is important to build a healthy lifestyle in general, even if your job is sedentary.
Here are some tips to not always be seated, even at work:
Stand up when talking on the phone.
Set a timer on your phone for 20 minutes and stand-up from your desk and walk around for a minute or two, or stretch.
Have standing or walking meetings.
Learn to improve your seating posture. Be mindful of how your back is positioned or if you are leaning forward too much, too often.
Invest in a standing desk or an ergonomically correct chair.
Visit a chiropractor regularly to help you work-out any issues in the spine, back, and neck
At Rai Chiropractic, in Langley, we work with our patients to ensure they are not further damaging their bodies with a sedentary lifestyle. We can help alleviate any stress to these symptoms with chiropractic care.