This should not come as a surprise to anybody but we are sitting more today than our ancestor did. The modern way of living and the development of technologies has cut down our work so much that we almost don’t have to move anymore. This prolonged sitting is slowly killing us.
Research in Sitting
An average adult sits for 13 to 15 hours a day Mercola, but that still represents more time in a chair than time in your bed. In the past, when most people lived off of farming and agriculture, we use to spend roughly 3 hours a day sitting. Our bodies are made to be in movement and in action and this isn’t only an opinion but also a well researched fact.
Thousand of papers have researched the impact of prolonged sitting on the human body. The position has been associated with multiple chronic diseases; the most commonly known ones being obesity, high blood pressure, type II diabetes and high cholesterol. It has also been associated with this centuries most debilitating condition…low back pain.
The main problem is that when you sit your body isn’t only slowing down, but that after a certain period time some cell functions completely stop. For example, the metabolism of sugar by the cells aren’t as effective as sitting or standing. Some research from the Netherlands concluded that every extra hour spent inactive, increased the risk of diabetes by a least 22% (NCIB). Knowing this fact, we should definitely suggest a change in sitting habits as well as some diet changes to prevent type II diabetes.
Sitting is also one of the worst positions for low back structures. The amount of pressure put on discs in sitting position are almost doubled then the stress the low back can feel when you are standing. Without doing any wrong movements or direct injuries you can hurt your back by long term sitting. It will definitely have an impact on your nerve system, which is your body’s communication tool. If your nerves don’t communicate properly it will definitely impact your overall health.
A good evaluation by your chiropractor is important to make sure the interference in your nerve system has not already started to affect negatively your overall health. But don’t worry if it is the case for you, your chiropractor is the best person to help you get back in good shape and to give you more advice on how to avoid further problems.
Now that you have an understanding of how sitting could affect your health, let’s see what we can do about it.
The answer is easy we should stand up!
Helpful Tips and Tricks
So people consider themselves as active because they train daily and do some sport. And yes, they are more active than most people, but sadly 1 hour of intense exercises CAN NOT erase 9 or 10 hours of sitting. This is the second most important fact that research has shown us. We cannot trade sitting hours with more intense exercises. Standing is the best counter reaction to sitting. This is why standing desks are becoming more and more popular. Sadly not everybody has that opportunity to have one, maybe in the future but meanwhile here are some tricks you can do.
You should move and stand up for MINIMUM of 5 minutes every hour that you sit. You can’t accumulate your time (i.e. can’t sit for two hours straight then stand for 10 minutes)
- If you need to speak to a colleague, go see him/her/they instead of emailing – texting them
- Use your lunch break to move around and stand.
- At home minimize the time sitting. Example take more time to cook yourself a good healthy meal instead of sitting down to watch your show.
- If you have the possibility to use public transport and stay standing instead of sitting in traffic that is also good idea.
- Make sure to get regular chiropractic check ups to optimize your posture and your health
We sometime give ourselves the excuse the we are too tired to stand but in fact our body gets more tired the more we sit. Just try to reducing sitting period by an hour daily and your body will start thanking you immediately.