The Dangers of Sitting
The stats say it all - one in four Americans sit for more than 8 hours a day. While most people understand this can't be good, most don't understand all the impact this can have. Sitting that long can cause digestive issues or decreased lung capacity as a side effect. Mason Murphy, a Trainer with CG, has broken down exactly what the dangers of sitting are, and how to avoid them!
Our bodies were made to move, not sit!
We are stronger and healthier when we keep our bodies active. That’s hard to do when our lifestyles are naturally sedentary - many jobs require work at a desk in front of a computer, all day every day. However, it’s crucial to find time to keep moving to avoid a whole host of issues, including:
- Spinal arthritis
- Digestive issues
- Decrease cognitive function
- Increased risk of diabetes
- Decreased flexibility, strength and mobility
- Diminished lung capacity
- Back pain
What can you do?
Avoid long periods of sitting as much as possible, of course! However, not everyone can do this all the time. When you can’t get up, take these steps to keep your blood flowing and stay ahead of the potential side effects:
- Sit "better": focus on keeping your sprine straight with your legs uncrossed
- Implement the '30 minutes rule': set a timer to remind yourself every 30 minutes to stand up. If you can, alternate sitting for 30 minutes then standing for 20 minutes, which will cut your total seated time per day in half
- Try out a stand-up desk: you can take moments to stand up throughout the day, or gradually work up to standing all day
- Support your spine: a lumbar support pillow for your office chair will help you sit up straighter (which keeps your sprine healthier)
- Stretch/foam roll: focus on your hamstrings, calves, chest, shoulder and hip flexors
- Posterior chain exercises: these movements help strengthen your muscles and keep you functionally fit to sit when necessary
- Hip bridge
- Hinge or stiff leg deadlift
- Standing leg extensions with exercise bands
In short, there are more ways to benefit your health than there are to stay seated. Find a combination that works for you and keep moving throughout the day, every day!
Information from: Mason Murphy
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