Sitting is pretty much unavoidable in today’s society. Getting too and from work, your office, watching our children participate in sport, and even our down time, sitting on the couch or meeting a friend at a cafe, we are sitting now more than ever. At our clinic in Glen Iris we see the effects of sitting every day. Back Pain, Neck Pain, Ongoing Stiffness, Shoulder Pain, Headaches and so much more are all regular complaints we see at the clinic.
Im sure you are all aware thats it’s not ideal to sit for so long. But have you ever thought of WHY it’s so bad for you? Here is a short article outlining the WHY.. and a few quick an easy tips to implement.
Our body has over 360 joints, and more than 700 muscles. Our bodies are designed to MOVE. This movements helps facilitate our bodies function. Pumping blood around our body, moving fluid around, stimulating nerve fibres and carrying oxygen to our brain are all made easier when we are mobile. It is these essential functions, that slow down when we sit.
If you stop now and think about your posture while you are reading this article, I’m sure you will find:
- Your shoulders are slumped
- Your lower back is curved
- Your head is held in forward position.
- Puts abnormal pressure on your spinal disc – your shock absorbers.
- Shortens your Hip flexors and chest muscles.
- Makes Gluts and Hamstrings weak and lazy – Use it, or Lose it!
- Reduces the space for your lungs to expand, reducing the amount of oxygen being delivered to your body. And last time I checked Oxygen was pretty important.
- Increases the wear and tear on your joints and ligaments.
Research has shown prolonged periods of sitting can be linked to:
2) Increased blood pressure,
3) High blood sugar
4) Cardiovascular disease.
SO what can you do to reduce the amount of sitting:
- Set a timer for 30-45 minutes to remind yourself to get up, move around and stretch.
- If you have to sit for long periods – ensure your work station is ergonomically set up for you. This will reduce the impact of sitting.
- Fidget – Move around while your seated at regular intervals. Brueggers Postural Break is GREAT
- Go for a walk.
- Stanford researchers found walking may help boost your creativity.
- Opt for a walking meeting.
- Get up and talk to your colleagues rather than email.
Try and find an excuse TO move, rather than stay seated. If you are suffering from the effects of long periods of sitting, Equilibrium’s Osteopaths can help by:
- Decrease muscle tension.
- Increase joint mobility.
- Give you postural and ergonomic advice.
- Prescribe tailored exercises to suit your needs.
now that you’ve finished reading this article, treat yourself to walk. Get up, get a drink of water, drag a colleague along with you! You may find your productivity improving and your body less sore.
MOVE YOUR BODY WILL THANK YOU!