The time you spend sitting every day may directly affect your life span. Recently, researchers have discovered that prolonged sitting can shorten your lifespan by as much as 40%. It has long been established that the likelihood of developing obesity and cardiovascular disease along with other major health conditions increases with a more sedentary life. Long periods of sitting also have a negative impact on your spine
Poor posture is common among those who spend hours at a desk. When body weight is combined with poor posture, misalignment of the spine is imminent. The extra pressure not only causes misalignment, but the entire body can also become fatigued when sitting for lengthy stretches of time. Hunching over a desk or keyboard generates back pain and may cause circulatory problems to develop throughout the body.
Get Up and Get Moving
Whether you are working at the office, working from home or vegging out on the couch, it is important to take breaks from sitting and get your body moving. Stretching exercises will help keep joints and their surrounding structures from tightening up. You will find a wide selection of stretching moves that can be performed at your desk.
Taking the time to go for a short walk not only helps your body, it also helps your mind. Even a couple of short brisk walks during the day to break up your time sitting will help with circulation, concentration and fight against sitting disease.
Inactivity from sitting for hours will leave your spine stiff and sore at the end of the day. Sitting tightens the hip flexors and restricts blood flow to the gluteus maximus, which is an important muscle for supporting the spine. If you also slouch, which is likely at some point when sitting for hours, spinal ligaments begin to stretch beyond healthy limits. Slouching also puts added strain on the spinal discs.
The vast majority of Americans, as much as 80% or more, spend anywhere from four to six or more hours seated. You can combat sitting disease by practicing habits that support spinal health. Exercise, take regular breaks at least every 30 minutes, vary your sitting position and move around more.
If you have back or neck pain, contact Allied Pain & Spine Institute. Schedule a consultation appointment with one of our team members. We can help you feel good again.
Posted on behalf of Dr. James Petros, Allied Pain & Spine Institute