Studies have shown that excessive sitting can lead to a range of health issues, such as increased risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity. The truth is we don’t move much these days. Compare today’s generation to our parents or grandparents. We spend more and more time in environments that require prolonged sitting: in offices, in cars, on the couch.
A 2011 study documented 800,000 people and their sitting habits. The study found that people who sit the most, compared to people who sit the least, have a greater risk of disease and death:
- 112% increased risk of diabetes.
- 147% increased risk of cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke.
- 90% increased risk of death from cardiovascular events.
We spend our days shifting from one seat to another.
Today, nearly one third of the world’s population is obese or overweight. The biggest issue with not moving enough is that we are faced with a negative energy balance.
Lack of Movement
When you sit for long periods of time, your muscles remain in a static position, which can cause tightness and discomfort in the low back.
Sitting for long periods can also lead to slouching and poor posture, which puts additional strain on the lower back muscles and can lead to pain and stiffness.
Weakness of Core and Gluteal Muscles
Prolonged sitting can weaken the muscles in your core and glutes, which are important for supporting the spine and reducing low back pain.
Reduced Blood Flow
Sitting for long periods can reduce blood flow to the lower back and legs, leading to stiffness and discomfort. It is important to take breaks and move around, stretch, and engage in physical activity regularly.
Below shows the load placed on our spine when sitting can be as much as 275% compared with standing.
Stand up and move regularly
Taking breaks every 30 minutes to stand up and move around can help reduce the negative effects of prolonged sitting.
Stretching regularly can help relieve tightness in the muscles and improve posture.
Use a standing or adjustable desk
Consider using a standing or adjustable desk that allows you to switch between sitting and standing positions throughout the day.
Engage in physical activity, such as walking, running, or weightlifting, to counteract the negative effects of prolonged sitting.
Maintain good posture
Ensure that you maintain good posture while sitting, with your shoulders relaxed, back straight, and feet flat on the ground. You can also consider using a lumbar support cushion to help maintain proper posture.
If you are ready to take control of your health and fitness, we invite you to get in touch to schedule a free consultation today.