You might want to take a seat for this… did you know that sitting for long periods of time every day is as harmful for your health as smoking?
It’s the shocking truth as our lives have become more sedentary than ever before. With the rise of office jobs, the proliferation of devices that provide entertainment for hours on end without leaving the couch and an increase in urban sprawl leading to hours behind the wheel, we tend to sit almost ALL day!
There’s strong evidence demonstrating “that physical inactivity increases the risk of many adverse health conditions, including major non-communicable diseases such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast and colon cancers, and shortens life expectancy.”*
Our Vancouver chiropractors see the effects of this epidemic in patients who are sore, stiff and have poor posture impacting their overall health and wellness. It’s time to make some changes to our dangerous lifestyle. Here are 5 ways to counter the effects of sitting:
Take standing meetings: Meetings can be an ideal time to stretch your spine and improve posture. Plus, standing meetings tend to keep people more focused on the topic at hand and therefore improve productivity. BONUS!
Make changes to a “toxic” office environment: Just as you wouldn’t want to compromise your health by sitting in a smoke-filled room, ask your employer to foster a healthy environment by requesting adjustable height, standing or treadmill desks. Oftentimes, companies are willing to make ergonomically friendly changes for the comfort and health of employees so start a petition in your office to make a formal request!
Include exercise and movement into your daily schedule: According to the World Health Organization, “adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week.” ** And while scheduled workouts are great, try to fit movement into leisure activities. Take the stairs, visit with a friend while walking around the block, dance around while doing household chores, and do fun activities as a family like hiking, biking, etc.
Be on the ball!: Seriously. Get an exercise ball to sit on at your desk and at home when watching TV or catching up on Insta Stories. The exercise ball engages your core, relieves stress from your spine and can promote movement in your ligaments and muscles.
Break up your day: After every hour, get up from your desk for a quick burst of activity. Do stretches, do a few quick squats or lunges or go grab water. Any activity to break up long periods of sitting will have a positive effect on your health.
If you would like to know more about exercises to improve posture, flexibility and improve overall health, book an appointment at Jassal Chiropractic in Vancouver!