Sitting is the New Smoking

I can’t take credit for this saying, but over the past few weeks I have heard it mentioned several times on various health forums.  I think that this statement is a valid one. It seems that problems, particularly in the lower back, related to prolonged sitting have reached epidemic proportions.

In past blogs I have discussed the details of the negative impact of sedentary jobs. Once again the solution comes down to balance. What I mean is that if you do too much of anything, it will likely become a problem in some way.

When it comes to prolonged sitting, the issue is that we are simply not designed to do this all day. This sort of goes against our genetic blueprint.  Mobility is inherent to good health. For example if you go on a trip to Hawaii and sit on a plane for 11 hours, your body will probably let you know. Our joints aren’t moving. Our blood isn’t flowing, as it should, our digestion becomes impaired. Even our brains do not function properly.  The cabin crew probably won’t appreciate this but it is a good idea to get up and move around as much as possible when you are on a long trip like this. Anyway most of us probably aren’t lucky enough to be flying off to Hawaii. However many of us are sitting for our jobs, and the same things apply. Again it becomes important to take the opportunity of get up and stretch and move around throughout the day. Lunch breaks should not be more of the same but should be an opportunity to do get out and move. Grab a workout, or even go for a walk. Your body will thank you. 

Hopefully workplaces will more and more come to realize the negative impact on sitting on public health. I think that there should be incentives built into the work environment to promote more mobility. In fact, perhaps in the not so far future, most of us will have the opportunity to have a standing workstation. Or perhaps our meetings won’t be in a boardroom but on a walking path instead. The same applies to our home environment. If you sit all day and then go home and sit some more, you’re not doing yourself any favours.

So the moral of this story is; Get off your butt and move! It is good for your health.

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