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Why Too Much Sitting Is Bad for Your Health

man sitting forward head looking at laptop holding coffeeYou’ve likely heard by now that “sitting is the new smoking.” We agree. That’s because being sedentary for too many hours a day can wreak havoc on one’s health.

In the book Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World, author Kelly Starrett talks about the devastating effects of too much sitting. In the book, she referenced a study that looked at people’s gait analysis and why all of a sudden, people started to get back pain and different issues.

As part of the study, the researchers looked at how people ran. They found that no adults knew how to run properly! They had to back it up to kindergarteners to see people who were running in a way without being coached appropriately.

The researchers determined that between kindergarten and first grade was when you stopped playing and moving and started sitting at a desk for prolonged periods. Within that year, their gait analysis completing changed. That’s where we lead to all of this dysfunction and dis-ease that early on in life.

Why Ergonomics Isn’t Enough

Although it’s a good idea to have your workstation set up in an ergonomically beneficial way, you still need to move. We recommend that you get up every half hour or 45 minutes.

Fit More Movement Into Your Day

You don’t need to be an avid CrossFitter or hop on your spinning bike at the crack of dawn to move more. Here are some tips for incorporating more movement into your day:

  • Do some desktop yoga or some stretching
  • Conduct a standing conference call if possible
  • Have a walking meeting
  • Take the stairs versus the elevator
  • Consider using an adjustable standing desk

The Payoff of Changing Behavior in Small Ways

According to Dr. Gray, there are lots of little ways that people can change their behavior to improve health. For example, she finds that if she goes for a walk on a call, she’s far more productive. “I always joke that I solve all the world’s problems when I go walk my dog for the day.” Dr. Gray is able to get some fresh air and is not stuck staring at a computer.

The Importance of Core Strength

You also need to have muscles strong enough to be able to sit. Perhaps you have a six-pack of abs, but is your core truly strong? We need strength from our hips to our shoulders so our body can sustain the weight of gravity and the positions we need to be in. Are we strong enough to support us through our daily activities? That’s why we emphasize core strength in our practice.

Get on the Path to Optimal Health

Taking a proactive role in your health through small changes can help you optimize your health and life. Of course, chiropractic plays a significant role in health maintenance. If it’s been a while since your last adjustment, book an appointment today!

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