How is Sitting Bad for your Health?
A study in 2012 by Loughborough University and the University of Leicester looked at the lifestyle of nearly 800,000 people from a range of countries. They discovered that there was a link between excessive sitting and poor health. Those who spent the most time in a chair had a 112% higher risk of developing diabetes and a 147% higher risk of suffering cardiovascular problems such as strokes.
A more recent study in America has found a link between extended sitting and calcification of the arteries. Interestingly, there was no evidence showing that bouts of exercise such as going to the gym counteract the negative effects of excessive inactivity.
Research by Dr Joan Vernikos on astronauts led her to discover that extended periods of non-motion cause cardiovascular ill health, be it sitting or standing. As she points out, it isn't sitting itself that is bad for you but rather uninterrupted sitting that is harmful.
How to Sit and Improve your Health.
Frequent Postural Change is key. This means stand; sit; squat; reach up in the air; do a quick jump in the air or star jump - all to be done little and very often to avoid non-motion.
If you have an office chair with arms, rest your elbows on the arms and then push your shoulders back, squeezing the shoulder blades together. Do this frequently.
Set your phone alarm to go off every 30 minutes to remind you to move. Get up, go to the toilet or do a star jump, just do something utterly different from your non-motion posture.
The main way to improve your health is movement throughout the day and awareness of your inactivity. As Osteopaths we are constantly encouraging patients to move and improve function within their bodies. Remember:
Mindful Motion brings Better Health.
It will be very interesting to hear your views on how implementing this within your lifestyle affects your well-being. Please feel free to ask for the link of the interview with Dr Vernikos as it is very informative. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org