- Views & Opinions
New research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine and other journals shows that sitting for long stretches can be detrimental to your health, contributing to obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and chronic kidney disease.
“The best defense – the only defense – is to move more,” says Dr. Keith Overland, president of the American Chiropractic Association.
But when you’re not in motion – when you’re sitting or standing – doing it correctly can make a big difference in your health.
“When you do sit, make sure to do it correctly so you don’t ruin your posture or strain your muscles, leading to pain that could inhibit you from getting the activity you need,” suggests Overland.
To prevent problems, keep your feet on the floor or a footrest and don’t cross your legs. Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips. Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back or use a back support, and avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time.
Sitting with a wallet in your back pocket is particularly damaging, according to experts. The pressure from the wallet on your spine can aggravate your sciatic nerve, causing numbness and lower back pain. For that reason, chiropractors recommend carrying wallets in your front pocket.
Include frequent micro-breaks into your sitting time, stretching your neck, arms, wrists, back, and legs. Simple stretches include neck rotations, fist clenches, arm dangles and shoulder shrugs.
Most of all, don’t sit for too long. Stand up and stretch your legs with a short walk about every 20 to 30 minutes. Avoid working through lunch.
Maintain good posture
Poor posture not only consumes more energy but also can lead to excessive strain on your postural muscles and may even cause them to weaken when held in certain positions for long periods of time. The postural muscles are prone to injury and back pain, but maintaining good posture, sitting properly and moving regularly can help you stay pain-free.
You can learn more healthy tips at www.chirohealthy.com.
While you may not be able to quit your desk job, you can prevail over inactivity and move yourself closer to better health.