Are you sitting too much? Most Americans will sit for 8+ hours per day. That’s a lot! Think about it…most people sit on the way to work, sit at work, sit on the way home, sit to eat, sit to watch TV, and sit to read. By now it’s safe to assume that we all know sitting too much is not good for our health. One may think that because they get thirty to sixty minutes of exercise one to three times per week, they can avoid the risks that come with prolonged sitting. But this way of thinking may be wrong. ABC news reports that “… evidence suggests that modern, sedentary lifestyles, even for those with definite exercise routines, may put people at an increased risk of cancer.”
Add cancer to the list of other risks such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome. The list is pretty intense, and it seems like a stretch to link cancer with prolonged sitting. As with the other risks, the connection may not be direct – sitting too much seems to cause changes internally that produces biomarkers. It is these biomarkers that puts people at risk.
Standing makes your body work and puts stress on big muscle groups in your body. Sitting allows these groups to rest while requiring less calories. The body can respond the lack of activity by tightening or shortening muscles, which can cause discomfort or pain once movement does occur. How many desk workers do you know with neck or back pain? They’re probably sitting too much.
Is your neck or back pain getting worse from sitting too much? Schedule an Appointment Today!
If you have any questions, or want a consultation with a professional, feel free to call, or schedule an appointment online at any of our Bergen County or Passaic County offices in New Jersey. Choose from Glen Rock, Franklin Lakes, Fair Lawn, Ho-ho-kus/Ridgewood, and/or Clifton – we make it possible for you to visit any of our offices at your convenience.
How Do You Stop Sitting Too Much?
The solution to this is obviously to move more. With the risks even extending to those who exercise regularly, one should aim to spend as little time seated as possible.
Here are some tips to get you moving in the right direction…
- Get yourself a pedometer or fitness tracker such as a FitBit or Jawbone, and aim to hit 10,000 steps every day. Falling a little short is ok if you hit the goal most of the time.
- Sneak in walks during breaks. Exercise before or after meals can help deal with where sugar gets stored in the body. Author of The Four Hour Body, Tim Ferriss recommends physical activity just before and after meals to do just that – have sugar stored in muscle, and NOT as fat.
- Try to get a standing desk at work/home.
- Practice getting into a deep squat and holding it. Gradually increase how much time you can spend in a deep squat over time, trying to get to 10 minutes.
- Use modified sitting positions such as half kneeling or tall kneeling when possible.
- When talking on a cell phone, stand up.
Simply standing is not the only solution to avoid the risks of prolonged sitting. The main solution is – Move More. Move Often.