Are We Sitting to Much?
Sitting, chances are good you are doing it right now. Chances are also good that you spend much of the day sitting as well, whether it’s at work, driving, or just relaxing at home. Unfortunately new information is coming out that prolonged sitting is not good for our health.
Too much sitting sets you up for a host of physical problems including poor circulation, chronic back and nerve pain, depression, osteoporosis, spinal disc degeneration, fatigue and many other health problems. Even scarier is that according to Canadian researchers prolonged daily sitting could cause these problems even if you exercise regularly.
“More than one half of an average person’s day is spent being sedentary — sitting, watching television or working at a computer,” said Dr. David Alter, a senior scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute
Sitting is the New Smoking.
The paper, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that prolonged sedentary behavior was associated with a 15 to 20 per cent higher risk of death from any cause; a 15 to 20 per cent higher risk of heart disease, death from heart disease, cancer, death from cancer; and as much as a 90 per cent increased risk of developing diabetes, said Alter.
And that was after adjusting for the effects of regular exercise.
“Avoiding sedentary time and getting regular exercise are both important for improving your health and survival,” said Alter. But engaging in 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous daily exercise does not mean it’s OK to then “sit on your rear” for the rest of the day.
What Can You Do?
First and most important is changing your work station. Standing desk are becoming more popular as the research adds up against sitting all day. Ergotron.com is a great resource for all thing standing desks. Talk to your HR reps at work if you don’t have the ability to make the change for yourself. Many large companies are taking notice to these reports and are more open to helping their employees be more healthy with this solution.
Now if there is no way to change your current work station keep these tings in mind.
– 50/10 RULE: Don’t sit for more than 50 minutes. Set a timer and take 10 when it rings.
– DON’T BE A CROOKED SITTER OR SLOUCHER: Sit up straight. If you find this difficult, uncomfortable or painful, call our office and schedule an appointment. Your spine may have a misalignment with nerve pressure, which needs correcting.
– TAKE YOUR LUNCH BREAK: Get up and go somewhere even if you bring something in.
– HOLD “MEETINGS ON THE MOVE”: Meet clients on a hiking trail or outdoors.
– PUT A LUMBAR PILLOW IN YOUR CHAIR
– INVEST IN AN ERGONOMIC CHAIR.
– GO TO THE GYM – BUT STAY OFF THE STATIONARY BIKE.
– TRACK YOUR STEPS. Current recommendation is to get 10,000 steps in a day. There are many devices out there today that can track your activity for you. I like the fitbit. You may be surprised how few steps you get in a typical day.