The exponential growth of technology in recent times has led to incredible advances in the entertainment, industrial and medical fields. Understandably, this progression correlates with a society who is spending more time sitting than ever before.
The statistics are quite damning, with the majority of people spending over 9 hours per day sitting. If you’re skeptical about this figure, have a look at your average day…
First you sit down to eat breakfast, then you sit to commute to work, then at work you spend most of the shift sitting, you relax at home by sitting and reading or watching television…
“Oh golly, you’re quite right Andrew!” I hear you say. Unfortunately there aren’t too many benefits of carrying out these sitting marathons unless getting a big butt is your goal. Check out the stats below:
• People with sitting jobs have twice the risk of cardiovascular disease than those with standing jobs.
• Consistently sitting for 6 or more hours a day over the course of 10-20 years increases the risk of breast and prostate cancer by 30%.
• It reduces bone mass by 1% a year in women, increasing the risk of fractures.
Sitting is so damaging for a number of reasons. It reduces circulation due to less muscle activity as well as increasing insulin resistance and the ‘bad’ cholesterol. Furthermore it is responsible for a large chunk of the back-related pain Will and I see in clinic… Actually in hindsight, keep sitting ;).
Here’s what you can do to combat the dangers of sitting….
• Take frequent standing breaks at least every 30 minutes. Stretch, walk around and do some light body weight movements.
• If you have a desk job, limit sitting outside of work.
• Carry out regular physical activity.
• Get a standing desk.
Consistently following the above not only negates the effects of sitting but has added benefits of; improved energy levels, boosted productivity as well as concentration.
The standing desk is a great idea and has been used by the likes of Sir Winston Churchill and Leonardo Da Vinci. Many are adjustable, providing the function of a sitting desk also. Expense can be an issue, though there are many DIY options floating around the internet which can drastically cut costs, including some IKEA mash-ups which offer a trendy solution. Check out this link for some ideas – http://www.howtogeek.com/100748/15-ideas-to-buy-or-build-your-perfect-standing-desk/.
In conclusion, it doesn’t take much to fight off the negative effects of sitting so get busy!
“People teach their dogs to sit; it’s a trick. I’ve been sitting my whole life and a dog has never looked at me as though he thought I was tricky”
By Andrew Cammarano