It’s something we spend, on average, almost nine hours doing – that’s a lot considering the eight hours we spend lying down sleeping…
Can you guess this bad habit?
It can easily overload your joints , stress and tighten your muscles, and lead to pain…
Have you guessed it?
When you break down your day into time spent travelling to work, sitting at work, traveling back home again, only to sit down AGAIN to binge-watch your favorite TV programs of a night, it’s easy to see how the hours build up.
Sitting is something that was once done only when you needed a rest.
But not anymore. Almost everything we do, involves sitting down…
Whether you’re in your car, at work, eating dinner, catching up with friends, watching TV, or even just relaxing – we’re all sitting, and I’m guilty of it too.
And if you’ve nodded your head, said yes to most of the points above, and your hours spent sitting add up to nine or more – you could be at risk of running into problems with your health.
First off, have you ever noticed your back and shoulders feeling tight and achy when you’ve been sitting down all day?
You know that feeling where you just want a good stretch, and a shoulder massage sounds ideal…
Yep, sitting does that, it makes your shoulders feel achy and tight.
Why? Because when we sit, we tend to ‘slump’ into a slouched position, rolling our shoulders forward. Or we over correct straightening up- tightening up our muscles like mom is behind us yelling, “sit up straight!”
Overtime either position can put strain on your back muscles and neck, causing them to tighten up which as you probably know, isn’t a good feeling!
To make matters worse, when you’re sitting and focusing on something such as a computer it’s easy to hold your neck forward while concentrating – putting more strain on your muscles.
This should help ease the aches and tension you feel. The key is to catch and correct it while its only tension and hasn't progressed to pain. So you may need to check in sooner than 30 minutes (set a timer on your phone to remind you).
Next, what about your legs and hips? Sitting for long periods of time can affect those too. It makes your muscles tighten up, and even weaken, because when you’re sitting your muscles are made to shorten –this can cause compression pain(s) and can even lead to poor circulation (like when you get pins and needles after sitting for long periods of time).
Did you know sitting has an impact on your lungs too? This one might surprise you but when you sit down all day, you reduce the amount of oxygen that enters your body…
When you’re hunched over, your lungs become compressed meaning there’s less space for your lungs to expand when you breathe – limiting the amount of oxygen that fills your lungs.
Do you ever feel bloated after a long day, or week spent sitting down?
Well, when you’re sitting in a curled over position your digestion slows down because it compresses your abdomen – which can lead to bloating, heartburn and even constipation.
Additionally, when we’re sat down our bowel functions are less efficient than when we’re standing up.
The reality is you and I need to sit LESS.
Fact: Even just by spending an hour sitting, you reduce your bodies ability to burn fat by up to 90% as it slows down your bodies metabolism significantly. This can reduce the amount of good cholesterol in your body. And without good cholesterol you’re at a greater risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Excess sitting in slouched positions is also a huge contributor to back pain and neck and shoulder tension for people who visit Doylestown Sports Medicine Center. And if something isn’t done about it quick – it can cause problems further down the line like sciatica, and other problems that get in the way of enjoying life.
So, here’s some tips to help you stand more during your day that are easy to incorporate:
– Stand up when talking on the phone
– Set a timer on your phone for 30 minutes and standup from your desk and walk around for a minute or two.
– Stretch in the morning, when you get home, and even during your dinner break
– Learn to improve your seating posture and have regular posture check ins with yourself.
So to sum it up – we’re creatures of habit, and our bodies are a result of those habits – getting up and moving more might feel hard at first, but do it enough and it’ll soon become second nature, you’ll feel healthier, more active and reduce the risk of back pain too.
If your back is suffering from sitting down all day, or if back pain is frustrating you right now, click here to download your free guide with simple tips on how to ease it as soon as today: