ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY?
A couple of weeks ago I picked up a newspaper and there was a 2 page article on the dangers of sitting, in the western world our lives have changed so much in the past 200 years that we spend many, many hours just sitting. A vast majority of us spend our working day sitting at a desk in front of a computer and then return home and spend our evenings sitting in front of the TV or in front of the computer, surfing the internet, shopping or catching up with our social life. We are slowly dying from the ‘sitting disease’.
Sitting for hours on end has now been proven to link to an increase in diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, depression, obesity, cancer and back pain.
Typically, we now sit for 13 hours a day, sleep for eight and move around for only 3! Our bodies were not designed to do this, for thousands of years we hunted and grew food, we spent most of our lives upright and sat down only for an occasional break. Now, we simply are not moving enough to burn up all the calories that we eat, the best way of burning calories is by constantly moving, walking to work and taking the stairs, basic household chores, a bit of gardening or decorating, dancing or just getting up to turn the TV off. A person who incorporates these non-exercise movements in his or her daily routine can end up burning an extra 2,000 calories a day.
As well as the health benefits there are obvious physiological benefits too. Legs, back & posture are progressively weakened by our sedentary lives. Sitting for long periods also affects the muscles around our joints, so if you are sitting down your hip flexors become overactive and tight and your glutes become very weak-that's when you become prone to injuries
KEY TIPS TO AVOID THE DANGERS OF SITTING!
Moving your body throughout the day is crucial, even half hour is better than nothing.. Here are my tips:
1. Take phone calls standing up.
2. Be disciplined about taking your lunch break, & regular breaks throughout the day, make sure you get up and take a short walk.
3. Shift your position or fidget rather than sit still all the time. When you feel fidgety it is usually your body telling you to move!
4. Take the stairs instead of a lift whenever you can. Regular stair climbing can help bone density. 5. Try to limit the time spend sitting on the sofa in the evenings, watch the TV standing up while doing other household tasks like ironing for example. 6. Get out in the garden for an hour, sweep up, tidy up, paint that room that needs decorating, anything that gets you moving for an hour instead of just sitting.