We know that smoking is bad! What about sitting?
In today’s world, we sit A LOT. We are sitting for an 8 hour work/school day, sitting while we relax at the end of the day, sitting at our kids sporting events on the weekends, sitting on our commute to work, sitting, sitting, sitting. Sitting has started to take up the majority of our day and it is very harmful.
Our bodies are made to move! Movement is essential for proper joint function, ligament stability, muscle strength, organ function, cardiovascular health, and nervous system flow; just to name a few. To say that sitting is the new smoking seems a severe comparison but overtime people who sit for 8 hours a day are found to suffer from the same health conditions as those who are lifelong smokers (Katella). The health conditions that are correlated to prolonged sitting are:
- Vascular problems: Deep Vein Thrombosis and Varicose Veins
- Low back, neck and spine pain
- Heart disease
- Weight gain and obesity
- Increase Anxiety
So, what should we do? Get moving! For many of us it is a part of our daily routine to sit, but there are lots of things you can do throughout the day to incorporate movement. Here are 5 ways that you can move more.
- Set a timer:
You may have an office or stay-at-home job that keeps you tied to a computer screen all day but that doesn’t have to prevent you from moving. During your work day you can set a timer to go off every 30-45 minutes to remind you to get up and move. You can do stretches, take a walk around the office/house, get a drink of water, put some laundry in, really any activity that gets you up and moving.
- Park far away:
We all have those pesky errands to run throughout the day. We sometimes drive around looking for the closest spot, and we are sitting while driving around. A good way to counteract that sitting is by parking farther away when we have our grocery shopping, laundry, and other errands. This forces you to get more steps in.
- Spinal Hygiene:
At Keystone Specific Chiropractic Center we stress the importance of motion for your spine. We even give out an at-home exercise program for our clients. These 5 simple moves help improve range of motion and stability of the spine. They are easy to implement during your work day or as a cool down after a workout. Try some of the spinal hygiene exercises to get more movement throughout the day.
- Sit on an exercise ball:
Exercise balls aren’t just for exercise! What?! They are also a great way to improve stability and posture. All you have to do is swap out your office chair for an exercise ball. When we sit in a chair our body remains stagnant and stationary. While using an exercise ball our core muscles, glute/leg muscles, and spinal muscles are engaged.
- Get a standing desk:
To get more motion you can transition between a sitting and standing desk during the day. You do not need to stand all day! Having the ability to transition between the two positions, again, reminds you to get up.
The first way to change a habit is through awareness. Once you realize that we sit a lot throughout the day it is easier to make choices to get moving. Even the smallest change during the day can have a big impact on long-term health! So, get moving!
Katella, Kathy. Why Is Sitting So Bad For Us?. Yale Medicine. Aug. 29, 2019