Sitting is the new Smoking

If you haven’t heard this phrase before then please read on because the gravity of the situation is real. Sitting for prolonged periods has been linked to higher risks of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and even early death. This inactivity is not limited to just the time you spend sitting in front of the TV. Sitting times are greatly increased with long work commutes and sedentary jobs. Take a moment and think about that. How much time are you spending each day behind a desk or behind the wheel? How is this impacting your life? Even if you’re going to the gym or engaged in other vigorous activity a few hours a week, this still doesn’t seem to offset the risk.

By remaining still for long periods our body goes into “storage mode.” Our metabolism decreases, muscles imbalances form, increased strain on our spine and decreased ability to concentrate and focus occurs. The message here is to keep moving. You can reverse the detrimental effects of sitting by taking breaks every 30 minutes to an hour. At first this may seem impossible but a few simple ways of adjusting the way you work can be your ticket to improved overall health. For example, stand while talking on the phone or eating lunch, stand and stretch in all directions every half hour, stand during conference room meetings and shift your weight or try lifting up on your toes, take the stairs. This form of mobility, though simple, can have profound impacts on your overall health by kick starting many physiologic processes. If you find you would like to address specific areas of concern such as work station ergonomics, driving postures, current low back/neck pain or develop a conditioning program, a physical therapist can help advise on these issues.