Ironically, I am writing this while serving jury duty. With drive time, I will sit for 8 hours straight. This is not my norm!
However, 86% of Americans do sit all day at work. In fact, the average American spends 21 hours a day sedentary and 13 hours sitting.
You may be asking, “so what?”
The American Journal of Epidemiology found a link between physical inactivity(ie sitting at a desk for hours) and cardiovascular disease mortality. Charles Matthes of the National Cancer Institute went so far to find a direct correlation between the amount of time spent in “sedentary behaviors” and mortality in U.S. Adults.
I know what you are going to tell me. . . .
“I get up and run every morning at 5am” or
“We hit the gym in the evening after work”.
Unfortunately, it was found that daily exercise is not enough to counteract the hours of excessive sitting.
What exactly is happening to your body when you sit?
- Blood flow becomes sluggish allow fat deposits to clog the heart
- Decreased blood flow results in brain fog, poor mood, swollen ankles, and varicose veins
- Lack of weight bearing increases risk of osteoporosis
- Decreased trunk strength and increased risk for herniated discs
- Poor sitting posture resulting in chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain
A low-cost strategy to good health is to replace some of your sitting time with light activity. Consequently, there will be times when we must be sedentary during a workday. But on these occasions. . . . Here are some tips to help:
- Stand up at least every 15 minutes
- Perform computer work at a counter or standing desk
- Walk 10 minutes after sitting an hour
- Walk down the hall to deliver a message instead of shooting a text
- Take the stairs to a bathroom on another floor
- Walk in your office while taking a phone call
- Sit unsupported on an exercise ball or backless stool to activate core muscles
- Sit properly with good posture and stretch your postural muscles daily
Finally, if you need more guidance in this area or find yourself sitting too much due to pain with movement, call and speak with a Doctor of Physical Therapy. Click the link below to request a FREE phone consultation.