Movement is critical to wellness. We are designed to move, so our increasingly sedentary lifestyle is now starting to have a huge impact on our health. Studies show that prolonged sitting is associated with heart/cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, muscle degeneration, back ache/neck pain, osteoporosis, depression and dementia.
What is needed is for everyone to sit less and move more during the day. Here are our top tips to help you achieve that:
- Ask yourself the question – Do I need to be sitting to do this task?
- Whenever possible stand rather than sit; walk rather than stand.
- Consider a standing desk for work, or get a chair that encourages “active sitting”.
- Take movement breaks: move away from your desk every 30 minutes or for 5 minutes every hour.
- Take a lunch break – go for a walk / swim / gym. Don’t eat at your desk.
- Stand and walk around in meetings.
- Introduce new office practices for stretching , moving and looking after each other’s health.
- Avoid convenience: park further away, get off the bus or train a stop earlier and walk, use the stairs.
- Stop watching TV and do something active.
- Gaming / hand consoles: limit the amount of time spent on them, take regular breaks, check posture.
- Encourage children to move more – what harm are they doing to their growing bodies?
- Educate children into good habits whilst they are young.
How can we help?
It is really difficult to sit correctly with our spinal curves balanced for long periods. Most of us will ultimately end up slumping, which if done for long periods of time causes us to lose the strength in our spines, increasing muscle tensions and strain leading to aches, pain and stiffness. Our hips tighten and we lose flexibility and movement which then affects our pelvis, causing congestion which may then affect our bowel habit, resulting in constipation. Our shoulders and upper back become rounded leading to possible headaches and arm and shoulder problems, not forgetting tension across the upper back. Sitting slumped also means we can’t breath correctly, therefore taking in less oxygen, leading to decreased focus and attention to the work in hand.
Treatment at Shefford Osteopathic Clinic will help rebalance the spinal curves, reduce muscle tensions and increase the range of movement. We will give advice on how to improve your posture and increase your movement during the day. Karen can also come to where you work, be this home or office, and assess your workstation set-up. We look forward to helping and working with you and your family in sitting less and moving more.
The following may be of interest:
A video – 23 and 1/2 hours: What is the best single thing we can do for our health